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"3^ sJ^H "HTrfa dfeG tWdl'H ; 

The egg of superstition hath burst ; the 
mind is illumined : 

The Guru hath cut the fetters off the feet 
and freed the captive. 

Guru Arjan 





Life of Guru Gobind Singh, the Tenth Guru . i 

Guru Gobind Singh against Idolatry ... 67 

A Princess's Discussion with a Brahman . . 68 

Extracts from Bhai Nand Lal's Writings . . 103 

Zafarnama (the Guru's Epistle to Aurangzeb) . 201 

Interview with Banda 237 

Banda's Career in the Panjab and Death . 246 

Compositions of Guru Gobind Singh . . . 260 

Extracts from Aral Ustat .... 261 

Extracts from Vichitar Natak . . . 286 

Introduction to the Hindu Incarnations 306 

Thirty-three Sawaiyas (Quatrains) . . 314 

Hazare Shabd 324 

Chaupai 328 

Ardas (supplication) 331 

Rags, or Musical Measures of the Gurus' Hymns 333 




Chapter I 

An account of the early years of Guru Gobind 
Rai has already been given in the life of Guru Teg 
Bahadur. Guru Gobind Rai, after his father's 
death, continued with even more diligence than 
before to prepare himself for his great mission. 
He procured a supply of sharp-pointed arrows from 
Lahore, and practised archery with great industry. 
The Guru's principal companions and bodyguard at 

1 The main authorities for the life of Guru Gobind Singh are the 
Vichitar Natak, or Wonderful Drama, composed by the Guru himself ; 
the Gur Bilas, by Bhai Sukha Singh; and the Suraj Parkash, by 
Bhai Santokh Singh. 

The Vichitar Natak is a metrical composition divided into fourteen 
chapters, and written in archaic Hindi with a large admixture of 
Sanskrit in the Gurumukhi character. The date is probably about 
A. d. 1692. 

Bhai Sukha Singh, the author of the Gur Bilds, was born in 
a. d. 1766 in Anandpur, where Guru Gobind Singh long had his 
residence. He became a pupil of Bhais Bhagwan Singh and Thakur 
Singh, and was subsequently a gyani or expounder of the Granth 
Sahib at Kesgarh, where the tenth Guru first administered his baptism. 
Bhai Sukha Singh completed the Gur Bilds in a. d. 1797, and died in 
a. d. 1838. His work is also in old Hindi in the Gurumukhi character. 

The author has also consulted with advantage Bhai Gyan Singh's 
Panth Parkash. 

There is a book called the Sau Sdkhi which professes to be a 
conversation between Sahib Singh and Gurbakhsh Singh on the 
sayings and doings of the tenth Guru. It is held in high estimation 
by the Kukas — followers of the late Bhai Ram Singh of Bhaini, in 
the Ludhiana district of the Panjab— and is relied on by them as the 
main authority for their heresy. Santokh Singh sometimes gives 
Bhai Gurbakhsh Singh's communications to Sahib Singh as the basis 
of his history of the Gurus from the time of Guru Angad, but he 
makes no mention of the Sau Sdkhi. There appears nothing to 
establish its authenticity. 

SIKH. V 3 


this time were his aunt Viro's five sons — Sango 
Shah, Jit Mai, Gopal Chand, Ganga Ram, Mahri 
Chand; his uncle Suraj Mai's two grandsons, Gulab 
Rai and Sham Das j Kripal, his maternal uncle ; 
Bhai Daya Ram, the friend of his youth ; and Bhai 
Nand Chand, an upright and favourite masand. 
The descendants of the Gurus, the masands, and 
the sons and grandsons of those who had served 
Guru Gobind Rai's father and grandfather gathered 
round his standard. He also entertained a number 
of singers, who sang the Gurus' hymns, and a number 
of bards who composed and sang in succession qua- 
trains in praise of the Gurus. So great was the 
enthusiasm that the women of the city used to 
climb the top stories of their houses and chant the 
Guru's praises in extempore verses. 

A man called Bhikhia residing in Lahore went to 
visit the Guru. Bhikhia, seeing him handsome and 
well-proportioned, thought he would be a suitable 
match for his daughter Jito. The Guru's mother was 
pleased at Bhikhia' s proposal, and asked her brother 
Kripal to advise the Guru to accept it. The Guru 
did so, and there were great rejoicings at Anandpur 
on the occasion of the betrothal. Great too were 
the rejoicings in Bhikhia's domestic circle when he 
returned home with the good news. The twenty- 
third of Har, Sambat 1734 (a. d. 1677), was fixed 
for the marriage, and Bhikhia returned to Anandpur 
to inform the Guru of the glad day, and invite 
him to proceed with his marriage procession to 
Lahore. The Guru, contrary to the custom on such 
occasions, refused to go to Lahore, and said he 
would make a Lahore near Anandpur for the occa- 
sion. He sent written orders in every direction for 
assistance, and his wishes were amply gratified. 
The Sikhs thronged from the Panjab capital on the 
occasion, and with them came Bhikhia and his 
family. Shopkeepers and merchants opened shops 
and warehouses, and abode in Anandpur until the 



completion of the nuptial ceremonies. After the 
marriage Bhikhia remained sometime with the Guru 
and performed all possible service for him. 

The Guru, according to the custom of his prede- 
cessors, used to rise in the end of the night and 
perform his devotions. He particularly delighted 
to listen to the Asa ki War. After daybreak he gave 
his Sikhs divine instruction and then practised 
martial exercises. In the afternoon he received his 
Sikhs, went shooting, or raced horses ; and ended the 
evening by performing the divine service of the 

Once in the hot season when bathing with his 
cousins and other youths of the same age in the 
Satluj , the Guru divided the party into two opposing 
factions to play a game of splash-water. The Guru 
being endowed with superior strength reduced his 
cousin Gulab Rai to such straits that he with diffi- 
culty emerged from the water. In his confusion he 
began to put on the Guru's turban, believing it was 
his own. Bhai Sango ran to restrain him, for it 
would be a sacrilege for any one to put on the Guru's 
turban. Gulab Rai accordingly laid it down in 
consternation. The Guru saw the occurrence and 
begged Gulab Rai to bind the turban on his head, 
and it would some day obtain him honour. When 
in after days the Guru had to leave Anandpur for 
the Dakhan, Gulab Rai obtained possession of the 
city and established himself as Sikh priest there, 
thus fulfilling the Guru's prophecy. 

The Guru delighted to wear uniform and arms, 
and practise, and induce others to practise, archery 
and musket-shooting. His handsome exterior was 
much admired both by men and women. 

One day as he was seated in darbar some new 
converts to the Sikh faith came to do him homage. 
Among them was a Sikh, who had a daughter called 
Sundari, of marriageable age. He proposed to the 
Guru to wed her and make her the slave of his feet. 

B 2 



The Guru did not desire the alliance, but it was 
pressed on him by his mother, and not long after- 
wards the Guru's nuptials were solemnized. 1 

We have already seen that Raja Ram of Asam 
implored Guru Teg Bahadur's intercession for a son, 
and a prince called Ratan Rai was duly born to him. 
Raja Ram died when his son was only seven years 
old. When Ratan Rai attained the age of twelve, 
he felt an inclination to see the son of the Guru by 
whose mediation he had been born. He accordingly, 
with his mother and several of his ministers, pro- 
ceeded to Anandpur. He took with him as an 
offering five horses with golden trappings, a very 
small but sagacious elephant, a weapon out of which 
five sorts of arms could be made — first a pistol, 
then by pressing a spring a sword, then a lance, then 
a dagger, and finally a club — a throne from which, 
by pressing a spring, puppets emerged and played 
chaupar, a drinking cup of great value, and several 
costly and beautiful jewels and raiment. 

The Raja was received in great state. He offered 
his presents, prayed the Guru to grant him the Sikh 
faith and sincerity, so that his love might be ever 
centred in the Guru's feet. The Guru granted all 
his desires. The Raja exhibited the excellence and 
advantages of all his presents. He showed how five 
weapons could be made out of one, he unloosened 
the puppets from the throne and set them playing 
chaupar. He caused the elephant to wipe the Guru's 
shoes and place them in order for him. The Guru 
at the Raja's suggestion discharged an arrow. The 
elephant went and fetched it. The animal held 
a jug of water from which the Guru's feet were 
washed, and then wiped them with a towel. At the 

1 A learned Sikh informs us that Sundari, a word which means the 
beautiful, frequently applied to the heroines of Indian history, was an 
epithet of Jlto and not a second wife of the Guru. The same learned 
Sikh thinks that Jlto, who was generally known as Sundari, did not 
die in Anandpur, but lived in Dihli after the demise of Guru Gobind 


word of command he took a chauri and waved it 
over the Guru. At night he took two lighted torches 
in his trunk, and showed the Guru and the Raja 
their homeward ways. In due time the Raja bade 
farewell to the Guru, and on his departure requested 
him never to let the elephant out of his possession. 

Several men went to the Guru for enlistment, and 
his army rapidly increased. He now set about the 
construction of a big drum, without which he deemed 
his equipment would be incomplete. The work was 
entrusted to Nand Chand. When the masands found 
that it was nearly ready they said that when Bhim 
Chand, the king of the country, heard it, he would 
be wroth, and not suffer the Guru and his Sikhs to 
abide in the locality. 1 Afraid, however, to make a 
representation to the Guru himself, they went to his 
mother Gujari and expressed their sentiments : 'The 
Guru's expenditure on works of charity and philan- 
thropy is already great, and now he is increasing his 
army and building a large drum. When the hill chiefs 
hear it beaten, they will regard it as a symbol of 
conquest and engage in battle with the Sikhs. He is 
daily adding to the number of his soldiers. Be pleased, 
O lady, to restrain him.' This speech convinced the 
Guru's mother. She sent for her brother Kripal, and 
begged him to dissuade her son from completing the 
drum. Kripal said he could not take it on himself 
to make any such representation to the Guru. She 
must do so herself. She accordingly spoke to her 
son next morning in the terms used by the masands 
to her. She added, ' Our business is with religion, 
for which humility is required. Even if thou com- 
plete the drum, beat it not in public' The Guru 
replied, ' Mother dear, how long shall I remain in 
concealment ? I am not going to take forcible 
possession of the hill rajas' territories. If they are 
jealous for nothing, and allow their hearts to rankle, 

1 In former times a raja might not beat a drum within another 
raja's territory, for beating a drum was a symbol of sovereignty. 



I cannot help it. This is the Guru's castle where men 
shall obtain their deserts.' 

On this the Guru rose and went to inquire if the 
drum were ready. If not, its completion must be 
expedited. The masands then made a direct repre- 
sentation : ' Great King, first consider the resources 
of the enemy. They are kings and possess armies, 
wealth, and munitions of war. It is therefore not 
advisable to contend with them. What a number 
of troubles befell thy grandfather in his military 
career ! Wherefore thou hast need of peace. Our 
Guru's business is with the Sikhism of his country ; 
war is the role of kings.' 

The Guru replied, ' How shall I conceal myself 
from those hillmen ? I have received the immortal 
God's order to disclose myself, and you tell me to 
remain in concealment. I must obey God's order, 
not yours. I have prepared the drum because my 
army would have no prestige without it. Even if 
Bhim Chand, Raja of Kahlur, and the other hill 
rajas grow angry, are we who sit here women ? We 
too shall meet sword with sword. If they keep the 
peace, so shall we. We shall soon see what the 
hillmen intend. When we go hunting, we shall 
take the drum with us, and beat it aloud on 
arriving at the base of the mountain.' 

The Guru celebrated with prayers and the distri- 
bution of sacred food the completion of the big 
drum, which he called Ranjit, or victorious on the 
battle-field. When it was beaten, the men and 
women of the city went forth to behold it, and 
there was great rejoicing. The Guru and his men, 
in full panoply, went hunting the same day. When 
the party arrived near Bilaspur, the capital of 
Kahlur, the Guru's drummer beat the drum with 
much energy and ostentation. It sounded like 
thunder to the hillmen, who at once apprehended 
that some potentate had come to take possession of 
their country. Raja Bhim Chand consulted his 


prime minister who said, ' It is Guru Gobind Rai, 
the tenth Guru in succession to Guru Nanak, who 
hath arrived. His father purchased some land 1 at 
the base of the Tung mountain, and built a village 
thereon. Thousands of worshippers come to him 
from great distances. It is only recently that the 
Raja of Asam came to visit him and presented him 
large offerings. He hath constructed a drum and 
come shooting here. My advice is to keep on good 
terms with him. In the first place, he is worthy of 
worship, secondly, he maintaineth a large army and 
is greatly feared. Thirdly, he is very brave, and 
such men are sometimes useful as allies.' 

On hearing this Raja Bhim Chand determined to 
go to meet the Guru, and dispatched his prime 
minister to arrange for the interview. The minister 
informed the Guru that his master, who was the 
head of all the hill chiefs, desired to meet him, and 
it would be well for the Guru to be on good terms 
with him. Bhai Kripal, the Guru's uncle, at a nod 
from the Guru replied, ' This is the Guru's castle. 
As any one treateth him, so shall he be treated. If 
any one come here with good intentions, he shall be 
well received ; but if he come as an enemy, he shall 
be treated accordingly. For men to be on good 
terms with one another is very expedient and com- 
mendable. Wherefore go and bring your Raja. We 
shall receive him with great respect.' The minister 
taking with him a robe of honour — the Guru's gift — 
returned to his master, and recommended him to 
proceed immediately to the interview. The Raja 
accordingly went with his courtiers and escort to 

Raja Bhim Chand was received in darbar with 
great honour by the Guru, who invited him to tell 
him the whole circumstances of the hill chiefs. 
Bhim Chand gave him the desired information, and 
then prayed the Guru to let him see the presents 

1 This is mentioned in the Life of Guru Teg Bahadur, 



from the king of Asam. The Guru at that interview 
showed him all the presents, except the elephant. 
Next morning the Guru had a costly tent erected 
which had been sent him from Kabul by an enthusi- 
astic Sikh named Duni Chand, and prepared to 
receive Bhim Chand in it at the second interview. 
With the Guru were his relations, courtiers, and 
principal wrestlers and warriors. When Bhim 
Chand saw the Kabuli tent he was astonished at 
its magnificence. In reply to his inquiry he was 
told that it had cost two and a half lakhs of rupees, 
and that it was the offering of a pious Sikh. During 
this conversation the elephant, beautifully decorated, 
was led forward. Bhim Chand expressed his un- 
bounded admiration of all that he had seen and 
heard. On his homeward journey his mind burned 
with envy of the Guru's state and wealth, and he 
considered how he could take possession of all his 
valuables. On reflection, however, he came to the 
conclusion that he would be satisfied with the 
elephant, and he determined to have the animal 
whether by force or stratagem. 

On his arrival in his capital he unfolded his design 
to his courtiers, and asked them to suggest how 
possession of the elephant could be obtained. After 
some discussion it was agreed that a message should 
be sent to the Guru to the effect that an embassy 
was coming from Srinagar in the present British 
Garhwal district, with the object of betrothing the 
daughter of its Raja, Fatah Shah, to Bhim Chand' s 
son j and Bhim Chand desired to borrow the elephant 
so as to make a display of wealth to his guests. It 
was accordingly decided that the Guru should be 
requested to lend the elephant for the purpose. 
When the Guru received this message he knew that 
it was simply a trick to obtain permanent possession 
of the animal. He thought to himself, ' If I refuse 
the elephant, it means war, and if I send him it 
also means war, as I must resort to force for his 


recovery.' He accordingly replied to Bhim Chand's 
message.. ' The raja who presented me with the 
elephant requested me not to let the animal go out 
of my possession ; and it is a principle of the Guru's 
house to comply with such requests. I have another 
elephant, and should Raja Bhim Chand require him 
he may take him.' The messenger seeing that there 
was no chance of obtaining the desired elephant 
hastened to return to Bilaspur. 

The Guru's message was delivered with the addi- 
tion that he did not seem afraid of any of the hill 
chiefs. Raja Bhim Chand, much incensed, con- 
sulted his prime minister, who advised him not to 
provoke a quarrel with the Guru. Bhim Chand 
angrily retorted, and charged his minister with age 
and cowardice. The Guru had shown contempt for 
him, and was he to calmly endure it ? Upon this 
the minister advised his master to become a Sikh, 
receive initiation from the Guru, and all would be 
well. Bhim Chand replied, ' I am an idolater. 
I daily perform the tarpan, 1 and repeat the sandhia 2 
and the gayatri. How can I forsake my religion, 
and become a Sikh of the Guru ? In the first place, 
I cannot as a Hindu be on good terms with a man 
who hath discarded our holy faith. Secondly, none 
of the hill rajas hath become a Sikh, and they 
would all laugh at me were I to change my religion. 
They would say that I did it with the mercenary 
object of obtaining the elephant. In the third 
place, no men of high caste have joined the Guru. 
His followers are carriers, barbers, fishermen, washer- 
men, sweepers, and similar nondescript persons. I am 
a great king of distinguished Rajput ancestors. How 
can I become the Guru's follower and stand before 
him with clasped hands in supplication ? If he give 

1 A daily ceremony of the Hindus, in which water is presented to 
the manes of deceased ancestors. 

2 Prayers read by pious Hindus at morning and evening twilight. 
Sometimes similar prayers are offered at noon. 


me not the elephant by peaceable means, I will take 
the animal by force. The Guru is already on bad 
terms with the Emperor, and, if he fall out with me 
also, he cannot abide here. He is still a mere boy ; 
arms are new to his hands. When I show him what 
I can do, he will know who I am and renounce his 

Saying this Bhim Chand ordered his chief police 
officer to go to the Guru, and try to obtain the 
elephant by soft and persuasive words. If these 
failed, the Guru was to be threatened with the 
strength of Bhim Chand's army. The police officer 
went on his mission and addressed the Guru as 
directed. The Guru calmly replied, ' Thou givest 
one advice to me to lend the elephant, and another 
to Bhim Chand not to restore him.' Upon this the 
police officer knew that the Guru could divine the 
secrets of others and begged his forgiveness. The 
Guru then said, ' Tell the raja that if he have faith 
in the Guru and if his intentions be honest, the Guru 
can grant him what he desireth ; but if he practise 
fraud and deceit, the Guru can protect his own 
interests. The Guru knoweth the secrets of men's 
hearts, and thou canst not deceive him. When 
thou talkest of the strength of the raja's army, 
know that there is nothing wanting on the Guru's 
side either. The Guru is already prepared for battle. 
The Sikhs are not women, and they have had long 
practice in martial exercises.' The police officer 
departed and delivered this message to Bhim Chand, 
who decided that he would wait till the time had 
actually arrived for his son's marriage, and then he 
would repeat his request for the elephant, and add 
to it an application for the magnificent Kabuli tent 



Chapter II 

The Gum continued to hunt and practise arms. 
Companies of Sikhs used continually to visit him 
and make him offerings. Those who came for 
military service were received without reservation, 
and taught the profession of arms. In this way 
the Guru soon collected a considerable army. The 
masands continued their opposition and again went 
to complain to the Guru's mother. They repre- 
sented to her, ' The Guru is very young, and hath 
no worldly experience. He hath stirred up strife 
between himself and the hill Raja. He hath no 
ally, for the Emperor beareth him no love. He 
hath taken the unprecedented course of refusing on 
two occasions Bhim Chand's request for the loan of 
the elephant. These hill chiefs are not afraid to fight 
and die. Wherefore, advise thy son that it is not 
politic to contend with them. If war begin, how 
shall Sikhs come with their offerings ? And where 
shall we procure supplies for our public kitchen ? ' 

When the Guru's mother remonstrated with him 
as thus advised, he replied, ' Mother dear, I have been 
sent by the immortal God. He who worshippeth 
Him shall be happy ; but he who acteth dishonestly 
and worshippeth stones shall receive well-merited 
retribution. This is my commission from God. If 
to-day I give Raja Bhim Chand the elephant, I shall 
have to pay him tribute to-morrow. He essayeth 
to terrify me, but I only fear the immortal God and 
know none beside.' 

Nand Chand then joined in the conference : ' Lady, 
hath a lion ever feared jackals ? Hath any one ever 
seen the light of the firefly in bright sunshine ? 
What availeth a drop of water in comparison with 
the ocean ? The Guru is a tiger brave and splendid 
as the sun. Shall he fear Bhim Chand ? When the 
foolish hillmen who are like mosquitoes contend 


with the Guru, they shall become acquainted with 
our strength and suffer the mortification of a late 
repentance.' Bhai Kripal then interposed : ' Sister 
dear, Nand Chand understandeth the Guru's plea- 
sure.' The Guru ended the discussion by saying, 
'Mother dear, heed not the evil advice of the masands. 
They have become cowards from surreptitiously 
eating the offerings of the Sikhs.' 

The Guru, knowing Nand Chand to be brave and 
skilful in war, made him his finance minister. More- 
over, Nand Chand' s father had done service for Guru 
Teg Bahadur, and the family was known to be loyal 
to the Gurus. Pay was due to the troops, and tact 
and skilful management of them were necessary. 
Kripal accordingly highly approved of the Guru's 
resolve, and accepted Nand Chand as the Guru's 
finance minister. Nand Chand was invested with 
a robe of honour, and appointed to his high position 
with all due formalities. 

The Guru and his troops continued to practise 
archery and devote themselves to the chase. When 
the other hill rajas heard of this and of the Guru's 
difference with Bhim Chand, they began to fan the 
flame of enmity, thinking that they would be more 
secure themselves if the Guru and Bhim Chand 
exhausted their strength on contests with each 
other. Kripal, the Raja of Kangra, sent Raja Bhim 
Chand a message, ' Fear not, I am with you. The 
Guru is raising an army. Thou oughtest conse- 
quently to be on thy guard against him. There 
cannot be two kings in one state. Wherefore it is 
proper for thee to expel him with all expedition.' 
Bhim Chand replied that peace was the best thing 
if it could be maintained; otherwise he would 
welcome his friend's assistance and expel the Guru. 

Raja Kripal then with exquisite treachery sent 
the following message to the Guru : ' Great king, 
fortunate are we that thou hast come to dwell in 
this land. I have heard that thou hast some dis- 


agreement with Bhim Chand. That fool knoweth 
not thy greatness. Assert thyself and bring him to 
reason by the sword. I will be thine ally. Directly 
thine order reacheth me, I shall be found fully 
prepared.' To this the Guru merely replied, ' This 
is Guru Nanak's house, where men shall be treated 
as they deserve.' Raja Kripal's envoy took note of 
the Guru's intelligence, determination, and material 
strength, and on returning to his master informed 
him that the Guru would certainly not yield to Bhim 
Chand without a struggle. 

The time for the marriage of Fatah Shah's daughter 
to Bhim Chand' s son was now approaching, so 
Bhim Chand decided to ask the Guru again to lend 
him the elephant and other articles of display for 
the occasion. He accordingly sent his brother-in-law, 
Kesari Chand, Raja of Jaswal, and a Brahman, with 
orders to bring what he desired by all possible means. 
They requested the Guru to lend Bhim Chand the 
throne, the elephant, the Kabuli tent, and the five- 
fold weapon. The family priest promised that 
the loan should be returned with a present of 
4,000 rupees. On this the Guru said, 1 Am I a shop- 
keeper that I should take hire for what I lend ? ' 
Kesari Chand remonstrated, ' O Guru, thou livest 
by offerings. Thou art not a landowner, thou hast 
no kingdom, no fief from which thou mayest derive 
income, and offerings of this description have doubt- 
less often been made thee.' The Guru on hearing 
this declined further parley and abruptly dismissed 
the envoys. 

The masands again complained to the Guru's 
mother : ' The Guru's action is impolitic. Bhim 
Chand's army will come and plunder Anandpur. 
The Guru is still a boy and hath never seen real 
warfare, though he ever babbleth of it. At one time 
he saith, " We will destroy the oppressive Turks." 
Again he saith, " I will give the whole country 
from Lahore to Peshawar as a kingdom to my 


Sikhs." Advise thy son to cease uttering such 
irritating language.' His mother duly remon- 
strated with him : ' My son, why art thou stirring 
up strife ? Send thy minister Nand Chand and thy 
uncle Kripal to- make peace, otherwise an army of 
hillmen will attack us immediately. Whither shall 
we go if we are obliged to depart hence ? Thy 
father purchased this land, and came here to live in 
retirement and peace.' 

The Guru replied : ' The hillmen have now come 
to beg with the humility of goats, but when they 
have received what they have asked for, they will 
assume the bravery of tigers. On this account why 
should we not take measures for our own safety ? 
Mother dear, if we now betray fear of them, they 
will soon be ready to devour us. They will only 
respect us when we show them the sword. If thou 
show a stick to a barking dog, he will fear to con- 
tinue his barking. We cannot remain subject to 
such people. If they play the part of aggressors, 
I will show them what the Guru can do. The immor- 
tal God hath sent me into the world to uproot evil 
and protect from tyranny the weak and oppressed.' 
On hearing this the Guru's mother retired in sorrow 
to her apartment, and the Guru proceeded to don 
his arms and coat of mail. 

When Raja Bhim Chand's envoys returned to 
their master, they repeated the Guru's message with 
marginal additions of their own. Bhim Chand 
became very angry and addressed the Guru the 
following letter : ' If thou desire to dwell in Anand- 
pur, send the elephant quickly. If thou agree not to 
this, I will take an army, plunder and assail thy 
disciples of both sexes, expel them from the country, 
and imprison thee. To save thyself, however, from 
all these painful consequences, thou mayest imme- 
diately depart from my state.' The Guru on perusing 
this letter smiled and said to his friends, ' I accept 
the alternative of war which he offereth me.' He 


sent Bhim Chand a reply to this effect, and ordered 
Nand Chand to make immediate preparation for 

When Bhim Chand received the Guru's letter he 
called his brother hill chiefs to a council of 
war, and informed them of his negotiations with 
the Guru. He was himself, he said, for open hostili- 
ties. Raja Kripal, however, counselled deliberation. 
He urged, ' Thou hast now made all preparations 
for thy son's marriage, and it is not time for war. 
Should any relation of thine be killed, thy rejoicings 
will be changed unto mourning. It is not well to 
die at a time of festivity, or sing songs of joy at 
a funeral.' The other hill chiefs who were summoned 
to the council and also Bhim Chand' s prime minister 
were precisely of the same opinion. The contem- 
plated war was consequently adjourned. Raja 
Kripal then suggested that, when the bridegroom's 
party went to Srinagar, they should induce Raja 
Fatah Shah to ally himself with them and take up 
arms against the Guru. 

Meantime the Guru himself was making all pre- 
parations to meet his opponents. He caused it to be 
publicly known that he would be grateful to all who 
brought him arms and horses, and his appeal met 
with a ready response. 

Raja Medani Parkash of Nahan at this time sent 
an envoy to the Guru with an invitation to pay him 
a visit. He was sure the Guru would be pleased 
to see the Dun, or valley par excellence* which 
enjoyed a cool climate and afforded abundant sport. 
Ram Rai, the Guru's relation, dwelt there, and found 
it a pleasant and agreeable residence. The Raja of 
Nahan had heard that Raja Bhim Chand was at 
enmity with the Guru, but Raja Bhim Chand knew 
not the Guru's greatness and would afterwards 
repent. The Raja of Nahan also desired the Guru's 
assistance, which would be useful to him in time of 

1 The Dun lies between the Himalayas and the Siwalik range. 


need, and accordingly warmly invited him to make 
a lengthened sojourn in his country. The Guru 
requested the envoy to wait a few days for an answer. 

The masands were very pleased to hear of the 
Raja of Nahan's invitation and thought, if the Guru 
accepted it, there would be an end of the quarrel 
between him and Bhim Chand. They induced the 
Guru's mother to persuade him to visit the Raja. 
She told the Guru that after some time spent in 
Nahan he might return to Anandpur, after which 
she hoped there would be peace. The Guru accepted 
her advice and promised to start for Nahan on the 
morrow. By way of precaution he decided to take 
the whole of his trained army with him, and ordered 
Nand Chand to make all necessary arrangements for 
the march. 

On the morrow the Guru caused his drum to be 
beaten as a signal for departure. He set out accom- 
panied by his minister Nand Chand, his relations, 
and five hundred Udasi Sikhs. For the defence of 
Anandpur he left Suraj Mai's two grandsons, Gulab 
Rai and Sham Das, with a suitable guard. The 
Guru's first march was to Kiratpur, where he visited 
the shrine of his grandfather, Guru Har Gobind. 
After a few days' further journey he encamped at 
the foot of the Nahan mountain. 

The Raja duly went to greet and welcome his 
distinguished guest. He took him to his palace, 
begged him to enjoy himself with the chase, and 
meanwhile design and superintend the building of 
a fort for the protection of the state. On one of the 
Raja's and the Guru's hunting excursions the subject 
was again mooted. The Raja explained that Raja 
Fatah Shah of Srinagar, the capital of Garhwal, had 
often quarrelled with him over the ground on which 
they were then standing. He would therefore be 
very pleased when a fortress was constructed on the 
spot for protection against all enemies. 

The Guru erected a tent and in company with 


the Raja held a darbar. It was unanimously agreed 
that a fort was necessary for the protection of the 
country. The Raja accordingly requested the Guru 
to allow his army to assist in its construction, and 
he would send his own workmen and labourers for 
its speedy completion. 

The Guru caused sacred food to be prepared, 
and praying to the Creator distributed it. He then 
laid the foundation stone of the fort. Such was the 
zeal and energy of the workmen that it was completed 
in twelve days. The Guru gave it the name of 
Paunta. He abode there, and continued to increase 
his army and enlist all Muhammadans as well as 
Hindus who presented themselves for service. All 
recruits as well as disciplined soldiers rendered 
willing aid in the construction of the building. 

Chapter III 

Ram Rai of Dehra Dun heard of the Guru's visit 
and of the construction of Paunta which was only 
about thirty miles distant from his residence. He 
apprehended that the Guru had come to punish him 
for his previous misdeeds, and he communicated his 
suspicions to his masands. Gurdas, who had accom- 
panied Ram Rai to Dihli when sent there by Guru 
Har Rai, and who had remained with him ever since, 
urged that Guru Gobind Rai was not so vindictive 
and base as to take revenge. If, however, he mani- 
fested any signs of aggression, Gurdas's brother Tara, 
who was a warrior and skilful archer, would be able 
to oppose him and protect the city of Dehra Dun. 
Ram Rai replied that no one could contend with the 
Guru in archery. Even Bhim Chand hid himself in 
his castle through fear of the Guru's arrows. Should 
the Guru decide to take action against them, whither 
should they go for refuge? Gurdas rejoined, that 
if Ram Rai fled before there was even a semblance 

5IKH. v 



of an attack, there would be several tales circulated 
to his discredit. The Guru subsequently hearing of 
his anxiety and wishing to remove it, sent Nand 
Chand and Day a Ram to reassure him. Ram Rai 
on receiving the Guru's message was delighted, 
invested the envoys with dresses of honour, and 
decided to remain on friendly terms with the martial 
son of Guru Teg Bahadur. 

Budhu Shah, a Saiyid, who lived in Sadhaura, 
went with his disciples to pay a visit to the Guru 
and make him offerings. Budhu Shah represented 
himself as a great sinner, said that he should cer- 
tainly have to render an account of his transgression 
hereafter, and why should he not be pardoned now 
by the Guru's mediation ? The Guru replied, ' Thou 
shalt not have to render an account hereafter. Guru 
Nanak hath procured thy pardon.' Budhu Shah 
remained for some time with the Guru, who con- 
ceived a great affection for him and vouchsafed him 
religious instruction suitable to his circumstances. 

Raja Fatah Shah of Srinagar in consultation with 
his ministers arrived at the conclusion that it would 
be politic to be on good terms with the Guru, and 
accordingly decided to visit him since he had ap- 
proached so near his territory. When the Guru was 
apprised of his intention, he prepared a magnificent 
entertainment for his reception. Rich carpets were 
spread and minstrels engaged to contribute to the 
Raja's amusement and enhance his enjoyment of 
the feast. During the Raja's visit the Guru sent his 
uncle Kripal to him to suggest that it would be well 
if he and the Raja of Nahan also were on good terms. 
The Raja at once replied that he would act in all 
such matters as the Guru desired. The Guru then 
sent for the Raja of Nahan. He came and promised 
to forget his former enmity to the Raja of Srinagar. 
The Guru brought the two Rajas together in open 
court, caused them to embrace and promise eternal 


Before the assembly was dissolved a hillman 
arrived with tidings of a fierce tiger which was 
destroying cattle in the neighbourhood. The mes- 
senger pressed the Guru to free the country from the 
pest. The Guru on the morrow took the two Rajas, 
together with Nand Chand and others, to where the 
tiger was reported to have his lair. The Guru asked 
the hillman who had brought the intelligence to lead 
the way. He guided the Guru and his party into 
a very dense forest. The tiger, which had been 
resting, awoke on hearing the tramp of the hunts- 
men's feet, and sat on his haunches looking at his 
pursuers with tranquil curiosity - 

The Guru forbade a bullet or arrow to be dis- 
charged, and called on any one who deemed himself 
brave to engage the tiger with sword and shield. 
No one came forward in response to the challenge. 
Raja Fatah Shah addressed the Guru : ' Great king, 
this tiger is very strong and hath been for a long 
time in this forest. He hath destroyed several men 
and cattle. If any one had been able to cope with 
him, would he still be alive ? But as he is strong 
and thou too art mighty, why not engage him thy- 
self ? Who but thee hath prowess to contend with 
sword and shield ? ' Hearing this the Guru alighted 
from his horse and drew himself together for the 
attack. The Raja of Nahan interposed : ' O true 
Guru, why confront such a tiger ? We will shoot 
him with our matchlocks.' The Guru replied, ' See 
how I will deal with this tiger. I shall have no 
difficulty in killing him.' Saying this he took sword 
and shield, advanced, and challenged the tiger. The 
tiger rose with a roar and sprang at the Guru. The 
Guru received him on his shield and striking him 
on the flank with his sword cut him in twain. The 
Rajas and the hunting-party were naturally aston- 
ished and delighted at the Guru's strength and 
bravery and the result of the encounter. 

The Guru took the opportunity to instruct his 

c 2 


friends : ' The tiger hath died like a hero and ob- 
tained deliverance. It is cowards who suffer trans- 
migration. The brave enjoy celestial happiness. If 
a man die in battle, it should be with his face to the 
foe.' Next morning the two Rajas, leaving the 
Guru in Paunta, departed to their several capitals. 

On Budhu Shah's return to his home in Sadh 
aura five hundred Pathans in uniform presented 
themselves before him one morning. They stated 
that they had been soldiers of the Emperor Aurang- 
zeb, but for some trivial offence had been disbanded. 
No one would now receive them through fear of the 
Emperor. It occurred to Budhu Shah that the Guru, 
who had no fear of anybody, would be likely to 
accept their services in his army. He accordingly 
took them to the Guru who was delighted to enlist 
them. The Guru fixed a salary of five rupees per 
day for each officer and one rupee a day for each 
trooper. The officers' names were Haiyat Khan 
Kale Khan, Nijabat Khan, and Bhikan Khan, men 
of whom we shall hear much hereafter. 

An envoy about this time arrived from Ram Rai. 
When he was allowed to approach the Guru on the 
morning after his arrival, he saw the Guru's troops — 
some fencing, some practising archery, and others 
performing miscellaneous military exercises. The 
envoy told the Guru that Ram Rai desired to meet 
him, but could not go to Paunta, and did not desire 
the Guru to come to Dehra Dun. They could meet 
at some intermediate spot. Ram Rai had then 
a large following, and did not desire that his disciples 
should think he went as an inferior to the Guru, but 
at the same time he never hoped that the Guru would 
proceed to visit him. Hence his unusual request. 
The Guru consented to meet him on the margin of 
the Jamna on Sunday, the second day of the follow- 
ing month. The interview accordingly took place. 
When Ram Rai's companions saw him touch the 
Guru's feet, they said, ' See, Ram Rai does obeisance 


to his rival,' and they made many remarks deroga- 
tory to the rank arrogated to himself by their 
spiritual guide. 

The Guru and Ram Rai conversed on various 
matters, particularly on the Guru's relations with 
Raja Bhim Chand. At the end of the colloquy Ram 
Rai said, ' I am fortunate to have obtained a sight 
of thee; I have now but a brief time to live. My 
masands are very proud. When I am gone, protect 
my family and property. Thou art the sun of our 
race, and hast for many reasons assumed birth. 
The holy Guru Nanak made the name of the one 
God the sole raft to ferry mortals over the world's 
ocean, and by means of it men have obtained deliver- 
ance. But when in time the wind of evil passions 
blew, the raft striking on the rock of pride was 
foundered, and many souls were lost. My father 
Guru Har Rai used to say that some one would be 
born from our family who would restore and refit 
the vessel for the safe conveyance of souls. Accord- 
ingly thou hast come into the world for this special 

When the Guru after hearing this looked round, 
he saw all Ram Rai's men standing with their backs 
towards him and their master. The Guru then 
observed, ' Ram Rai's Sikhs who turn their backs 
on us are fools. They are not pleased with the sight 
even of their own guru, so he will not render them 
assistance hereafter.' 

The Guru by his occult power knew Gurdas's 
boast that his brother Tara would be a match for 
him and protect Ram Rai's city against any aggres- 
sion he might meditate. The Guru accordingly said 
to Gurdas, ' Tell thy brother to discharge an arrow 
in my presence. Thou saidst that thy brother could 
shoot like the Guru, and that no Guru could be so 
powerful as he.' Gurdas on thus being taken to 
task, begged the Guru's pardon, and was duly for- 
given. The Guru then returned to Paunta where he 


abode for a time composing poetry in its pleasant 
environment and salubrious climate. 

The author of the Suraj Parkash gives the method 
of the Guru's composition. He used to rise early, 
bathe, walk along the bank of the river Jamna 
sufficiently far to obtain complete privacy and ensure 
himself against interruption. He would then sit 
down and compose poetry for three hours. He first 
translated from Sanskrit the history of Krishan 
avatar. 1 The translation is generally in quatrains 
adorned with similes and metaphors. The Guru 
delighted to describe the sports of Krishan, the 
circular dances performed by him and the milk- 
maids, and his special devotion to Radhika his 
queen. It was further to the south, on the margin 
of the same river, that Krishan disported himself and 
performed those great feats which have secured him 
deification among the Hindus. The Guru in his 
' Ras Mandal ' or description of the circular dance 
of Krishan made an acrostic out of the thirty-five 
letters of the Gurumukhi alphabet. The letters do 
not begin but end the verses. At intervals in his 
literary labour he used to watch the river rolling 
over its shingly bed, and admire its sparkling foam 
and blue wavelets. 

Some time after the Guru's visit Ram Rai fell 
into a trance, and in that state was cremated by 
the masands in defiance of the prayers and en- 
treaties of his wife Panjab Kaur. The masands 
then proceeded to take possession of his property and 
of the offerings intended for him ; and each began 
to proclaim himself guru. Panjab Kaur, through 
the agency of Gurdas, who had remained faithful to 
her, sent a letter to Guru Gobind Rai to inform him 
of the circumstances, and to pray for his advice and 
assistance. She then invited all the masands to 

1 Suraj Parkash, Rut II, Chapter 4. Some learned Sikhs are of 
opinion that the translation was really made by one of the Guru's 
bards named Syam, whose name frequently occurs in it. 


a feast on a certain day which she had fixed on for 
the appointment of a successor to her husband, and 
promised to the deserving dresses of honour on the 

When the masands arrived they each presented 
a claim to spiritual authority. One man would say, 
' I want to be appointed guru of a certain country.' 
Another would say, ' I want to be appointed guru 
of another country.' When all the masands had 
arrived, Panjab Kaur sent to inform the Guru. The 
Guru at once ordered his troops to prepare for an 
expedition. On the morrow he proceeded with 
them to Dehra, leaving sufficient men to guard 
Paunta. When the masands saw the Guru, their 
faces grew pale and they asked one another why he 
had come. The Guru and Ram Rai, they said, were 
in opposition to each other, but perhaps the Guru 
had come to condole with the widow on her husband's 
death. In any case the masands made certain that 
the Guru would only stay for a day or two, as Panjab 
Kaur would be unable to provide supplies for him 
and his army for any length of time. 

Next day Panjab Kaur requested the Guru to 
punish the masands. Some of them suspected what 
was in store for them, but fate was too powerful to 
allow of their absconding. The Guru recalled to 
memory all their crimes and misdemeanours. They 
used to go to the houses of Sikhs to take intoxicants, 
and frequent the society of courtesans. They used 
to boast that the Guru was of their own making, 
and, if they did not serve him, no one would even 
look at him. They practised oppression in every 
form ; they embezzled offerings made to the Guru 
and committed many other enormities. The Guru 
accordingly meted out condign punishment to the 
guilty among them, and rewarded those who had 
remained faithful to Panjab Kaur. He then returned 
to Paunta. 


Chapter IV 

The Guru set about extending Paunta and beauti- 
fying it with gardens and pleasure grounds. One 
day as he was sitting in his garden, he received an 
invitation 1 from Raja Fatah Shah of Srinagar to 
his daughter's marriage with the son of Raja Bhim 
Chand of Bilaspur. The Guru declined the invita- 
tion on the ground that Bhim Chand was at enmity 
with him and a disturbance might result were the two 
to meet. The Guru, however, promised to send his 
finance minister with some troops to represent him. 
He accordingly gave orders to Diwan Nand Chand 
to hold himself in readiness and at the same time to 
provide a necklace of the value of one lakh and 
a quarter of rupees as a marriage present for Raja 
Fatah Shah's daughter. 

Nand Chand on his departure said to the Guru, 
' I go in obedience to thine order, but if Raja Bhim 
Chand force a quarrel on me, it may be difficult for 
me to return.' The Guru replied, ' As the immortal 
God will take thee thither, so will He restore thee 
to me. Have no anxiety on that account.' Nand 
Chand set out according to order with five hundred 
horse for Srinagar. The Raja sent officers some 
distance to receive him, and offered him suitable 
quarters within the city. Nand Chand urged diplo- 
matic reasons for not accepting the accommodation 
provided, but his real object was to encamp outside 
the city, so that he and his troops might be free to 
escape if treacherously attacked. Accordingly a spot 
on the road to Paunta was at his request assigned 
him for his camp. 

Raj a Bhim Chand, Raja Kesari Chand, Raja Gopal, 
Raja Hari Chand, and the Rajas of Kangra, Mandi, 
and Suket, proceeded in great state to Srinagar. On 

1 In former times an invitation to a marriage was made by sending 
a piece of red string and some sweets. 


their way they halted on the margin of the Jamna not 
far from Paunta. There Raja Bhim Chand heard 
that the Guru with his forces was encamped at the 
ferry of Raj ghat four miles distant, and had made 
preparations to obstruct his progress. Bhim Chand 
accordingly considered what was to be done under 
the circumstances. He knew the Guru to be very 
brave, and he also knew the enmity he bore him. If 
Raja Bhim Chand went straight on, he would have 
to contend with the Guru's troops ; and if he went 
by a circuitous route to another ferry, he could not 
arrive in time for the wedding. 

In this difficulty Raja Bhim Chand consulted his 
brother rajas, and recalled to their memory all the 
circumstances connected with his negotiations with 
the Guru. He had deferred making war on account 
of his son's approaching marriage, but the very 
circumstance that he had apprehended now occurred, 
for the Guru was on the way to obstruct his progress 
and hinder his crossing the Jamna at Rajghat. 
Various counsels were given, which were all rejected. 
At last Bhim Chand decided to send his prime 
minister to the Guru to represent that his son's 
marriage was about to be celebrated, and it was no 
time for a clash of arms which would turn joy 
into sorrow. The prime minister received instruc- 
tions to present all this in the form of a respectful 
request to the Guru. If it failed, he was then to 
inform him of the names of the rajas who were with 
the marriage procession. It was thus hoped that, 
even if the Guru rejected the respectful request, he 
would hesitate to attack so many powerful chiefs. 

When the hill rajas' envoy reached the Guru he 
said, ' 0 true Guru, Raja Bhim Chand with the hill 
rajas hath come with his son's marriage procession, 
and they request thy permission to pass. They 
ordered me to entreat thee with clasped hands to 
consider this as the marriage of thine own son.' 
The Guru replied, ' O envoy, there is no reliance to 


be placed on these false hill rajas. While uttering 
sweet words, they harbour enmity in their hearts. 
Therefore tell them from me that they may come 
this way if they are brave ; but, if they are cowards, 
they may take another route, in which case I will 
not molest them. Raja Bhim Chand threatened to 
come and attack me at Anandpur. I will myself 
proceed thither when I have vanquished him.' 

When the Guru's determination was communi- 
cated to Raja Bhim Chand and the other hill chiefs, 
there ensued a long discussion as to the best course 
of action. It was at last decided that the bride- 
groom should be sent with a few high officials to 
request the Guru to allow him safe conduct for the 
purpose of his marriage, and that the rest of the 
marriage procession should go to Srinagar by a cir- 
cuitous route. Bhim Chand vowed that after the 
celebration of the marriage he would take revenge 
on the Guru for his conduct, and bring Raja Fatah 
Shah to dislodge him from his position. 

When Raja Bhim Chand's son with his escort 
reached the Guru, he said, ' O true Guru, thy name 
is cherisher of those who seek thy protection, and 
I do so now. Had my father thought that thou wert 
likely to molest me, he would never have sent me 
hither. As I am his son, so I am now thine. I am 
altogether at thy mercy.' The Guru compassionated 
the youth, and at once allowed him to proceed to 
Srinagar for the due performance of his marriage 

When the bridegroom and his small party in- 
formed Raja Fatah Shah of what had occurred, he 
felt sore grieved at the impediment placed by the 
Guru in the way of his daughter's marriage. Before 
the hill chiefs had yet arrived, Diwan Nand Chand 
desired to offer the Guru's wedding present, and 
then take his early departure. Raja Fatah Shah 
replied, 'You may offer me the Guru's present when 
all the rajas are assembled.' 


When Raja Bhim Chand and the other hill chiefs 
arrived, Nand Chand was anxious to present the 
Guru's wedding gift and leave Srinagar as early as 
possible. The herald in attendance proclaimed : 
' Guru Gobind Rai, who is seated on Guru Nanak's 
throne, hath presented jewellery to the value of 
a lakh and a quarter of rupees as dowry to Fatah 
Shah's daughter.' Raja Bhim Chand on hearing 
this became enraged and said, ' Witness all ye 
people. My kurm 1 is friendly to the Guru, and 
taketh a marriage present from him, though he is 
an enemy of mine. I must therefore refuse to accept 
Fatah Shah's daughter for my son.' The Raja of 
Kangra said to the speaker, ' It is not well to act in 
haste. Send thy minister to Raja Fatah Shah, and 
ask him if he will take the initiative in a war with 
the Guru. If so, he is one of us, and we will conclude 
the alliance with him. If, however, he refuse to 
attack the Guru, then we will not accept his daughter.' 

On this Raja Kesari Chand and Raja Bhim Chand' s 
minister went to Raja Fatah Shah, told him all the 
circumstances, and said that if he did not go to war 
with the Guru, he should be considered an enemy 
not only of Raja Bhim Chand, but of all the hill 
chiefs. Raja Fatah Shah was much perplexed on 
receiving this message, and saw that trouble awaited 
him on every side. He replied, ' It is a great sin to 
fight with a man who obviously manifesteth his 
friendship. The Guru is my greatest friend. How 
shall I engage in a conflict with him without reason ? 
Raja Bhim Chand is at enmity with the Guru with- 
out any just cause. If one man make a request and 
another cannot comply, what ground of enmity is 
that ? Come with me, and I will make peace between 
the Guru and Raja Bhim Chand.' 

When Raja Bhim Chand was informed of this he 
caused the drum of departure to be beaten. When 

1 Son's father-in-law. There is no one word in English for this 


his horses were saddled and all preparation made he 
sent his minister with an ultimatum to Fatah Shah, 
' Raja Bhim Chand now breaks off his son's marriage 
with thy daughter. On this account thou shalt 
suffer much obloquy. The Guru is here to-day and 
gone to-morrow. Thou hast no kinship to break 
with him, so why break with thine affianced rela- 
tions ? ' Fatah Shah was weakly overcome by this 
representation, and promised to act as Raja Bhim 
Chand desired. Raja Bhim Chand, who was already 
on horseback, alighted on hearing Fatah Shah's 
change of determination and went to him. Fatah 
Shah then renewed his promise to act according to 
Bhim Chand' s wishes and join him in making war 
on the Guru. 

Meanwhile Nand Chand managed to secure his 
property, including the Guru's unaccepted wedding 
present, and prepared for his homeward journey. 
On hearing this Raja Bhim Chand sent five hundred 
horse to intercept him and seize whatever he had 
in his possession. Raja Bhim Chand promised the 
leader of the detachment to send more troops to his 
assistance as soon as possible. When Nand Chand's 
troops found their way obstructed, they began to 
reflect that they were few, while the hillmen were 
many, and they meditated flight or coalition with the 
enemy. On this a brave Sikh spoke out, ' What are 
you soldiers meditating ? On your departure for 
Srinagar the true Guru promised that as the immortal 
God would conduct you to your destination, so would 
He restore you to your homes in safety. Put faith 
in the Guru's words.' This short speech inspired 
the Sikhs with courage, and shouting ' Sat Sri Akal ! 
Sat Sri Akal ! ' — True is the immortal God, true is 
the immortal God — prepared for the conflict. 

Nand Chand also addressed cheering words to his 
men. He assured them that the army in front of 
them was weak, and his men might fearlessly advance. 
They obeyed, and when within gunshot discharged 


a volley at the hillmen which threw their ranks into 
disorder. Nand Chand then shouted to the hill 
troops, ' Why waste your lives in vain ? The army 
which was to reinforce you hath not arrived. Fly ! ' 
On hearing this the hillmen dispersed in every direc- 
tion. Their reinforcing army, which was approach- 
ing, heard the sound of the Sikhs' muskets and 
feared to advance. Moreover, Raja Bhim Chand's 
troops would never fight unless commanded by him- 
self. The result was that Nand Chand and his 
troops safely returned to Paunta, and offered their 
obeisance and congratulations to the Guru. Nand 
Chand gave him an account of what had occurred 
since his departure for Srinagar, and advised him 
to hold himself in readiness, for the hill rajas with 
Fatah Shah would certainly repeat their aggression. 
Upon this the Guru ordered ammunition to be 
served out to his army. It now became a ques- 
tion whether the Guru would wait for the enemy 
near Paunta, or advance to intercept their progress. 
The Guru's uncle said that the enemy would come 
by Bhangani between the Jamna and the Giri, 1 and 
it would be best to select Bhangani, which was six 
miles distant, for the field of battle. The Guru 
approved of this plan of operations. 

During Nand Chand's stay in Srinagar a merchant 
arrived there with one hundred horses which he had 
purchased in Kashmir for the Guru. Nand Chand 
had a difficulty in saving them from Bhim Chand's 
rapacity, and succeeded in taking them to Paunta. 
He now informed the Guru that the horses were 
present and at his disposal. The gift was a very 
opportune one, and the Guru expressed his highest 
satisfaction with the merchant. He distributed the 
horses among selected Sikhs. There was nothing 
now heard but warlike preparations and conversa- 
tions. The Sikhs, who in the words of the Sikh 
chronicler, watched for the enemy as a tiger for his 

1 Not far from the city of Rajpura on the Mansuri (Mussoorie) road. 


prey, enjoyed in anticipation the approaching battle, 
and vaunted that they would expel all the hill rajas 
and take possession of their territories. 

Raja Bhim Chand reproached his troops for failing 
to arrest the departure of Nand Chand' s detachment, 
and asked them if they had occupied their time in 
feasting on honey or doing their duty. He said, 
however, that he would forget the past if they 
promised amendment in the future. He then sent 
word to Fatah Shah to go and do battle with the 
Guru according to his promise. Fatah Shah, in 
order to please him, served out ammunition and beat 
the drum of war. His soldiers buckled on their 
swords, and slung their guns over their shoulders. 
Fatah Shah propitiated the goddess of his state, and 
putting himself at the head of his troops advanced 
to the combat. 

As already stated, the Guru's army except the five 
hundred Pathans recently taken into his service on 
the recommendation of Budhu Shah, exulted in the 
prospect of battle. The Pathans took council with 
one another, and Bhikan Khan, one of their officers, 
said, ' The Guru's main dependence is on us. The 
rest of his army is a miscellaneous rabble who have 
never seen war, and will run away when they hear 
the first shot fired. Then the brunt of the battle 
will fall on us, and we shall be responsible for 
defeat. Why waste our lives in vain ? Let us go 
to the Guru and ask permission to return to our 

Kale Khan, another of the Pathan officers, stoutly 
resisted the proposal : ' You are untrue to your salt. 
Are you not ashamed to think of running away when 
your employer is involved in serious warfare ? No- 
body will trust you in the future ; and when you 
die, you shall be condemned to the abode of sorrow 
of which our holy prophet tells. You are a disgrace 
to the Pathan race.' Bhikan Khan rejoined, ' O Kale 
Khan, remain thou loyal to the Guru. If any of us 


have business at home, why should he not go there ? 
Why should he die an untimely death ? Stay thou 
with the Guru and earn such advancement as he 
may confer on thee.' On hearing this Kale Khan 
detached himself from the Pathans, and adhered to 
his allegiance to the Guru. 

Nijabat Khan and Haiyat Khan sided with the 
majority under Bhikan Khan, and proceeded to the 
Guru to ask on behalf of themselves and their 
followers leave to depart to their homes. One man 
had a child born to him, another was to be betrothed, 
a third was to be married, the mother of a fourth 
was dead, &c, &c, and all would suffer irrevocable 
disgrace were they not to return to their homes at 
once. They accordingly requested the Guru to 
settle their accounts and pay the balance of their 
salaries due to them. The Guru replied, ' This is 
not a time to ask for leave. The enemy is upon us, 
and yet you desire to forsake me. If any one of 
you wish to marry, let him first marry battle, and 
then proceed to his home and celebrate marriage 
with his betrothed. In that case I will largely 
reward you.' 

The Pathans again represented : ' It is incumbent 
on us to go to our homes in case of births, deaths, 
and marriages. Otherwise we could never show our 
faces again to our relations. We must therefore 
depart.' To this the Guru replied, ' Be loyal to your 
sovereign ; leave death and life in the hands of God. 
Desert not your posts, abandon not your duty, and 
you shall be happy in this world and the next. If 
you die in battle, you shall obtain glory to which 
not even monarchs can aspire. Shame not your sires 
and your race. He who forsaketh his master in battle 
shall be dishonoured here and condemned hereafter. 
The vultures, knowing him to be disloyal, will not 
touch but spurn his flesh. He shall not go to heaven 
hereafter, nor obtain glory here ; abundant disgrace 
shall light upon his head. Be assured of this that 


human birth shall be profitable to him who loseth 
his life with his face to the foe. For all the drops 
of blood that fall from his body, so many years shall 
he enjoy the company of his God.' 1 

The Guru offered double pay, which the Pathans 
refused ; then triple, then quadruple. All the Guru's 
overtures were rejected. The Pathans replied, 
' Money is a thing to be distributed among relations ; 
but if relations fall out, of what use is money ? ' 
Kripal then addressed them, ' O fools, you are 
afraid to fight, and are only inventing excuses. 
Having eaten the Guru's salt you are untrue to it, 
and are reflecting dishonour on the Pathan race. 
A curse on your pay and on yourselves ! ' Kripal 
then quoted the texts from Bhai Gur Das's Wars 
against ingratitude. 

Finding all remonstrance useless, Kripal recom- 
mended the Guru to dismiss the wretches from his 
service. The Guru again addressed the mutinous 
men : ' You appear like tigers, but you have only 
the spirit of jackals.' The Pathans cast down their 
eyes and said in reply, ' O great king, say what thou 
pleasest. We will serve thee no longer. We are not 
thy prisoners. Why tauntest thou us ? ' The Guru 
replied, ' Leave my presence ; the immortal God will 
assist me.' When the Pathans, having received their 
salary from the Guru, went to their tents to make 
preparations for their departure, Kale Khan again 
advised them to serve the Guru for one year more. 
At the end of that time they should be wealthy men. 
Bhikan Khan replied, ' The Guru is evidently afraid 
of the enemy. If we want money, let us go and 
fight on the side of the hillmen and obtain their 
permission to plunder the Guru. The hillmen have 
not the same information regarding his treasure as 
we have. Accordingly, we shall be at the rear during 
the battle and at the front during the plunder. We 

1 Sukha Singh's Gur Bilas, Chapter vi, and Sura} Parkash, Rut II, 
Chapter 20. 


will then go straight to our homes taking with us 
all we can seize.' 

This advice of Bhikan Khan was applauded by 
the Pathans. They accordingly sent five of their 
men to negotiate with Raja Fatah Shah, and tell 
him they would all serve him without pay if they 
were allowed to plunder the Guru. Moreover, their 
leaving the Guru would ruin him as they were the 
only fighting men he had. In fact, on their departure 
there would be none to fight on his side, and Fatah 
Shah would gain a bloodless victory. Fatah Shah 
was highly pleased, and at once gave the Pathans 
written permission to appropriate the Guru's pro- 
perty. When the document was shown to the body 
of the Pathans, they set about saddling their horses 
to join Fatah Shah's standard. Kale Khan again 
remonstrated and threatened the mutineers, but in 
vain. Some further overtures of the Guru were also 
rejected. The upshot was that the Guru's soldiers, 
who were only waiting for his order, expelled the. 
mutinous Pathans from his camp. Kale Khan 
remained with the troop of one hundred men of 
whom he had been originally in command. 

The Guru lost no time in informing Budhu Shah 
of the misconduct of the mutinous Pathan soldiers 
whom he had introduced and recommended to him. 
Budhu Shah felt their behaviour a personal dis- 
grace to himself. He sought to remove it, and also 
gain spiritual advantage by assisting the Guru. He 
accordingly placed himself, his brother, his four 
sons, and seven hundred disciples at the Guru's 

Chapter V 

When the Pathans joined Raja Fatah Shah, he 
asked them what the Guru, whose pay they had been 
receiving and whose salt they had been eating, must 
think of them after their desertion. Bhikan Khan 




replied, ' Great king, the Guru is greatly afraid of 
thee. He only declared war on thee through reliance 
on us. He offered us shields full of rupees, but we 
refused and came to thee. He hath only eight men 
who know how to fight. These are his five cousins, 
his uncle Kripal, Diwan Nand Chand, and Bhai 
Day a Ram. The others who are with him are the 
dregs of the populace, and know not even how to 
handle a sword. We Pathans shall be too many for 
them, so it will not be necessary for thy troops to 
engage at all. The Guru hath treasure exceeding that 
of an emperor.' On this Fatah Shah remarked that 
Providence was kind to him in having already granted 
him victory. He repeated his promise to the Pathans 
that they might go and plunder the Guru, and, if he 
himself possibly could, he would generously reward 
them out of his own resources also. 

The Guru's scouts, who had been sent to Bhangani, 
reported that the enemy were marching to the 
attack. He must therefore proceed at once to inter- 
cept them, otherwise they would enter Paunta on 
the morrow. The Guru sent orders to a body of 
Udasis to put on their turbans, take their arms, 
and prepare for defence. The Udasis too did not wish 
to lose their lives. They said that there were other 
countries where they might beg for their living, and 
that the Guru's kitchen from which they used to 
eat, was not the only one in the world which remained 
to them. It was not for the purpose of fighting 
they had left their homes and become pilgrims. 
They accordingly resolved to abscond during the 
night one by one, so that their departure might be 

Next morning the Guru was informed that the 
Udasis had all fled except their mahant Kripal, who 
remained in a state of abstraction. The Guru 
smiled and said, ' The root at any rate is left, and 
since there is the root the tree shall bear blossom 
and fruit. If the mahant had gone, the Udasis 


would have been totally extirpated, and excommu- 
nicated from Sikhism.' The Guru then ordered the 
mahant to be sent for, and thus addressed him : 
' O mahant, whither have thy Udasis fled ? Hearken 
to me. Thy disciples eat our sacred food, but when 
they see a green field elsewhere, they go to graze 
on it like cattle. They have all absconded in the 
present hour of need.' The mahant calmly replied, 
' All disciples of the Gurus are made by thee, and 
thou thyself canst pardon them.' 

While the Guru was conversing with the mahant 
two Sikhs arrived to report that the army of the 
hillmen had arrived near Bhangani. The Guru gave 
orders to his five cousins to take troops and stop the 
entrance of the enemy into the town. Then making 
all arrangements for the defence of Paunta during 
his absence, he sent for his arms and armour and 
offered the following prayer to the Almighty : — 

Eternal God, Thou art our shield, 
.The dagger, knife, the sword we wield. 
To us protector there is given 
The timeless, deathless, Lord of heaven ; 
To us All-steel's unvanquished might ; 
To us All-time's resistless flight ; 
But chiefly Thou, Protector brave, 
All-steel, wilt Thine own servants save. 1 

Then while repeating his orders he buckled on his 
sword, slung his quiver over his shoulder, took his 
bow in his hand, mounted his steed, and shouting 
' Sat Sri Akal ' in his loudest voice proceeded to 
confront his enemies. It is recorded that the hoofs 
of the Guru's horse in their quick movement raised 
clouds of dust which obscured the sun, and that the 
cheers of his men resembled thunder in the stormy 
and rainy month of Sawan. 

When the Guru arrived at Bhangani, Bhai Daya 

1 This is freely translated from a version of the first lines of the 
Akal Ustal found in Malcolm's Sketch of the Sikhs. 

D 2 


Ram pointed out the positions of the armies arrayed 
against him. ' Behold ; there is Fatah Shah's army, 
and to the right of it are the faithless Pathans who 
have deserted us. Behind them all stands Fatah 
Shah himself. In the van is seen Hari Chand, the 
Raja of Handur, a brave and accomplished archer.' 

Meanwhile a contingent was seen to approach, 
discharging firearms and committing great havoc 
among the hillmen. Diwan Nand Chand was puzzled 
and applied to the Guru for information. A soldier 
arrived in breathless haste, and said that Budhu 
Shah had arrived to wipe out the Guru's taunts for 
having introduced the Pathans to him. The Guru 
was of course overjoyed to receive Budhu Shah with 
his reinforcement, and at once gave the order to 
charge. Sango Shah, one of the Guru's cousins, 
who discharged bullets like hail and committed 
fearful destruction among the enemy, is specially 
mentioned on this occasion for his conspicuous 

Raja Fatah Shah soon learnt that the Pathans 
had misled him as to the character and strength of 
the Guru's army. Raja Hari Chand then suggested 
that the Pathans under Bhikan Khan, being in the 
Guru's secret and aware of his plan of operations, 
should be sent to the front. This was accordingly 
done. They charged the Guru's army and used their 
muskets with great effect. The Guru sent Nand Chand 
and Daya Ram with their troops to check their 
onset. Nand Chand and Daya Ram advanced with 
the rapidity of arrows shot from the Guru's bow- 
string. They and their men discharged missiles like 
winged serpents against the enemy. The Pathans 
too, fought well, the battle was hotly contested, and 
many brave men were untimely slain on both sides. 

The struggle was continued by both armies with the 
eagerness of wrestlers striving for victory. Sango 
Shah continued his brave career and killed many of 
the enemy. He was well supported by his brother 


Mahii Chand, who showered bullets with deadly 
precision on the Pathans, but was at last surrounded 
as his missiles were exhausted. Sango seeing his 
brother's perilous position put his horse at full speed 
to rescue him, and so deftly applied his arrows, that 
the Pathans soon surrendered their expected prey 
and fled. 

Budhu Shah, his relations, and his disciples, fought 
with great bravery and devotion, and succeeded 
in slaying numbers of the enemy. The ground 
resembled a red carpet. His men shouted like 
thunder, and drove the enemy before them as a 
hurricane drives chaff. Raja Gopal of Guler now 
arrived with his troops to reinforce Fatah Shah. 
He called out to the fugitives, ' Why run away ? 
I have come to your assistance.' On this the hillmen 
took courage and renewed the combat. They 
directed their attack principally against Budhu 
Shah's troops. Seeing this, Budhu Shah's sons 
fought with the greatest bravery, felled the enemy 
as a woodcutter fells forest trees, and warded off 
all return strokes, so that they piled up corpses on 
corpses. Raja Gopal, seeing the destruction of his 
allies, addressed his men, ' My brethren, now is the 
time for action. Maintain the honour of the hill 
rajas.' The result of this brief exhortation was that 
the enemy surrounded Budhu Shah's son. In this 
critical position he fought with great desperation. 
His bravery attracted the attention of the Guru 
himself who sent his uncle Kripal with troops to 
rescue him. Kripal's men showered arrows and 
bullets on the enemy, and succeeded in extricating 
the youth. He and Kripal then joined in a terrific 
charge on the hillmen. Raja Gopal seeing this dis- 
charged an arrow at Budhu Shah's son which struck 
him on the chest, and brought him to the ground. 
This led to a close engagement of the combatants 
on both sides for the possession of the body. Every 
form of weapon was plied and the carnage became 


terrific. Such was the gallantry of Kripal and the 
spirit he infused into his followers, that the enemy 
fled, leaving the corpse of Budhu Shah's son to be 
borne away from the field by his father's disciples 
for honourable interment. 

Raja Gopal, on seeing the confusion produced in 
his ranks by the brave Kripal, directed his horse at 
full speed against him. As Gopal advanced he dis- 
charged an arrow at him, which lodged in his horse's 
saddle. On this Kripal shouted, ' O Gopal, thou 
hast had the first shot. It is for me to shoot now.' 
On hearing this Gopal turned his horse round. 
Kripal at once discharged an arrow, which penetrated 
his horse's temple, and the animal fell heavily on 
the ground. Gopal, unhorsed, ran away with the 
rapidity of a thief who finds day dawning on him in 
the exercise of his calling, and took refuge at the rear 
of his troops. He there provided himself with another 
steed which he mounted for the battle. 

The Rajas of Chandel and Handur now appeared 
on the scene, and desired to come to close quarters 
with the Guru himself. They and their troops were, 
however, kept at bay by the bravery of the Guru's 
five cousins, supported by the faithful Sikhs. 

Raja Fatah Shah now called out to Bhikan Khan 
and his Pathans, and asked them why they were 
concealing themselves and saving their skins like 
dastards. Bhikan Khan had represented that the 
Guru's army was worthless, so Fatah Shah now 
called on him to put that worthless army to flight. 
He and his men might then return to their homes 
with such plunder as they could obtain from their 
victory. Bhikan Khan, thus roused from his 
lethargy, joined in the fight. Haiyat Khan too 
advanced and killed several of the Guru's troopers. 
Kripal, the mahant of the Udasis, now advanced on 
horseback, and asked the Guru's permission to engage 
Haiyat Khan. The Guru replied, ' O holy saint, 
(hou canst kill him with thy words. Pray that I may 


be victorious.' Kripal, the Guru's uncle, over- 
hearing this conversation, and seeing that the 
mahant was filled with martial enthusiasm, prayed 
the Guru to let him engage Haiyat Khan. The Guru 
inquired with what weapon the mahant was going 
to contend with his adversary. The mahant replied, 
' With this club.' The Guru smiled and said, ' Go 
and engage thine enemy.' It was a spectacle to see 
the mahant with his matted hair twisted round his 
head, his body only clothed with a thin plaster of 
ashes, and his belly projecting far in front of his 
saddle, proceeding to engage a practised warrior 
armed with the latest weapons of destruction. 

When the mahant approached and challenged 
Haiyat Khan, the latter saw that he had no warlike 
weapon and consequently retreated from him, scorn- 
ing to attack a defenceless man. The onlookers 
were amused and said, ' How can that f aqir contend 
with a Pathan ? ' The mahant, however, continued 
to challenge Haiyat Khan. As when a snake is 
escaping into its hole it will come forth if its tail be 
trodden on and attack the aggressor, so Haiyat 
Khan, who had been retiring before the mahant, now 
advanced against him goaded by his taunts. He 
aimed a blow of his sword at the mahant, which the 
latter received on his club, when lo ! Haiyat Khan's 
sword fell to pieces. The mahant then addressed 
him, ' Now hold thy ground and defend thyself 
from me.' The mahant rose on his stirrups, and 
wielding his club with both hands struck Haiyat 
Khan with such force on the head that his skull 
broke, and his brains issued forth and stained the 
battle-field. 1 

1 The Guru himself gives the following description of this single 
combat and of the fighting which immediately followed : — 

Mahant Kripal, raging, lifted his mace and smote the fierce Haiyat 
Khan on the head, upon which his brains issued bubbling forth as 
butter from the earthen vessel which Krishan broke. Nand Chand raged 
in dreadful ire, launching his spear, then wielding his scimitar. When 
the keen weapon broke, he drew forth his dagger for the honour of the 


The mahant continued to display his skill and 
bravery to the Pathans, but was at last surrounded 
by them and placed in a very hazardous position. 
When Jit Mai, one of the Guru's cousins, saw this, 
he rained such a shower of arrows on the Pathans, 
that they retreated and left the mahant unmolested. 
He then made his way to the Guru, and received his 

Ram Singh, a mechanic from Banaras, had made 
a cannon for the Guru from which balls were dis- 
charged with great effect during this battle. People 
on seeing the impression made on the enemy con- 
cluded that the Guru was destined to be victorious. 

Bhikan Khan and Nijabat Khan taunted their 
men with being unable to cope with a rabble of 
villagers who did not even know how to handle 
a martial weapon. The result was that the Pathans 
made another desperate effort to brighten their 
gloomy prospects, and for a time caused the Guru's 
army to waver. One Sahib Chand, a captain of 
a troop, asked the Guru's permission to oppose the 
onset of the enemy. The Guru ordered him to act 
on his own responsibility. Sahib Chand and his men 
so deftly and rapidly plied their arrows that the 
Pathans found it necessary to take shelter behind 
trees. Bhikan Khan, seeing this, addressed his men : 
' How now, jackals, you are attaching a stigma to 
the Pathan race. The hillmen are laughing at you, 
and saying that a faqir, having killed Haiyat Khan, 
hath put all the Pathans to flight.' Saying this, 

Sodhi race. Then my maternal uncle, Kripal, advanced in his rage. 
The brave man's body received many arrows, yet he emptied the saddle 
of many a Turkish chief. Sahib Chand, as a true Kshatri, strove in the 
battle's fury and slew bloodthirsty heroes, shining lights of Khurasan. 
Many excellent warriors were slain, and those who survived fled with their 
lives. Sango Shah, lord of battle, gloriously acquitted himself, and 
trampled underfoot bloodthirsty Pathans. Raja Gopal shouted as he 
stood in the battle-field, like a tiger in the midst of deer. The brave 
Hari Chand planted his feet firmly on the field and in his fury dis- 
charged sharp arrows which went through and through his adversaries. 
— Vichitar Nalak. 


Bhikan Khan set an example of bravery to his 
soldiers, and discharged showers of arrows at the 
Guru's troops. 

Sahib Chand, on the Guru's side, continued to 
fight with great determination, and caused great 
havoc among the enemy. Seeing this, Hari Chand, 
the Raja of Handur, became enraged and strove 
with equal valour against him. His archery was so 
unerring that the Guru's army again wavered. 
Sahib Chand then occupied himself in warding off 
Hari Chand's arrows and inspiriting his men. They 
were not, however, to be encouraged, but were on 
the point of retreat when the Guru heard a great 
tumult near him. He at once ordered Nand Chand 
and Daya Ram to stay the attack of the enemy. 
These brave heroes discharged such showers of 
arrows as effectually checked the onward progress 
of the Pathans. Nand Chand, taking his sword in his 
hand and putting his horse to full speed, rode into 
the thick of his enemies, and chopped off their heads 
like pumpkins severed from their stalks. In his 
left hand he held a lance with which as occasion 
served he impaled his antagonists. The Pathans, 
however, retreated not, but with their religious 
battle-cry, ' Ya Ali ! Ya Ali ! ' firmly held their 
ground and fell upon Nand Chand. He by his 
bravery and skill in arms sent every one who 
approached him to the next world by the way of the 
sword. A Pathan ran his horse forward and received 
Nand Chand's sword on his musket. The sword 
fell to pieces and then Nand Chand drew forth his 
two-edged dagger. Daya Ram went to his assist- 
ance at that critical moment, and a hand to hand 
engagement with the Moslems ensued, in which they 
were worsted and put to flight. Raja Hari Chand 
still held his ground and was challenged by Daya 
Ram. Hari Chand avoided not the conflict, but 
continued to discharge arrows and bullets and 
inflict great damage on the Guru's army. His horse 


was very swift and tractable, and he could turn him 
rapidly round so as to save himself from a hostile 
attack, while at the same time he could discharge 
fatal missiles at his opponents. Saiyid Budhu Shah 
was found to have lost during the last charge a second 
son in the battle. 

There came a confectioner named Lai Chand to 
the spot on which the Guru stood directing the 
battle. He said, ' I feel greatly tempted to join in 
the fray, but I have never learned how to handle 
warlike weapons.' The Guru replied, ' If thou desire 
to fight, take and mount a horse.' The confectioner 
did so. Then the Guru gave him a sword and shield. 
He inquired how they were to be held. The Guru 
told him to take the sword in his right hand and the 
shield in his left. The Guru's soldiers laughed at 
the confectioner's ignorance and said, ' Well done ! 
our Guru and great King wants to kill hawks with 

The confectioner ran his horse into the Pathan 
army. Bhikan Khan on seeing him said to his 
friend Mir Khan, ' See, here comes an Arora. 1 He 
hath been all day weighing flour and salt, and now 
the Guru hath given him a sword and shield. Take 
his arms and his horse, and then slay him.' Upon 
this Mir Khan pounced on him like a hawk on a 
sparrow. When Mir Khan drew his sword the 
confectioner warded it off with his shield. Then 
meditating on the Guru he aimed a return blow at 
Mir Khan which separated his head from his body. 
The hillmen taunted the Pathans with not being able 
to contend with petty hucksters, and asked them if 
they were not ashamed of their cowardice. Pro- 
voked by these taunts, Nijabat Khan and Bhikan 
Khan urged their men to make a general charge and 
not die like jackals. Raja Hari Chand joined them 
in their onslaught. The Guru's brave Sikhs, how- 
ever, firmly held their ground. In the action that 

1 A tribe of Khatris. 


ensued Jit Mai and Hari Chand engaged in single 
combat. Jit Mai discharged an arrow at Hari Chand, 
but the latter by an adroit .movement of his horse 
escaped it. Jit Mai became angry at having missed his 
mark, and discharged another arrow at his opponent. 
Hari Chand followed his example. The arrows lodged 
in their horses' foreheads and both horses fell. The 
combatants thus unhorsed continued to fight until 
they were both wounded. After a short breathing 
time, both again put forward their strength, when 
their swords simultaneously took effect. Hari Chand 
fell fainting to the earth, and Jit Mai dropped down 
dead with his face to the foe. His comrades blest 
the father who had begotten him and the mother 
who had borne him. 

When the hillmen found that their bravest warrior 
had fallen into a swoon, they assembled to consider 
what should be done. On seeing the enemy huddled 
together, the Guru ordered Ram Singh to direct his 
cannon towards them. Ram Singh obeyed, with the 
result that several of the enemy were killed. On 
this the Rajas of Dadhwal and Jaswal became 
enraged and actively joined in the battle. Fatah 
Shah, however, saw that the day was lost and took 
to flight. The Raja of Chandel was astonished at 
the conduct of Fatah Shah, and continued to do 
valiant battle on behalf of the hill chiefs. 

At the time when Jit Mai and Hari Chand were 
engaged in single combat, Sango Shah, the Guru's 
cousin, and Nijabat Khan, the Pathan leader, were 
similarly employed, and both fell by mutual slaugh- 
ter. The Guru, on seeing the courage and fate of 
the hero who had performed for him such gallant 
deeds, changed his name from Sango to Shah San- 
gram — Lord of battle. The Guru, enraged at his 
loss, mounted his charger and rode into the thick 
of the combat. He so plied his arrows that sounds 
of woe arose on all sides from the Pathan ranks. 
The Guru, on seeing the renegade Bhikan Khan, 


discharged an arrow at him. It missed him but 
killed his horse, upon which he took to flight. Nand 
Chand and Daya Ram now saw an opportunity in 
the demoralized state of the Pathans to make a final 
desperate charge and complete their discomfiture. 
The result was great slaughter of the treacherous 
Muhammadans. When the hillmen saw the total 
defeat of the Pathans, they too began to run away 
from the field of battle. 

Raja Hari Chand, who swooned on being 
wounded by Jit Mai, had by this time recovered, 
and appeared on the scene with the heroic resolution 
to secure victory for his side. He addressed his 
troops : ' Hillmen, once so brave, why die like 
cowards ? I have come to your assistance. Take 
courage.' Saying this the Raja stayed the fleeing 
hosts. Meanwhile showers of arrows continued to 
speed from the Guru's army. Raja Hari Chand 
shot many brave men with his own arrows. The 
Guru on seeing this confronted him, and after- 
wards thus described the combat that ensued : — 

Hari Chand, in his rage, drew forth his arrows. He 
struck my steed with one and then discharged another at 
me, but God preserved me and it only grazed my ear in 
its flight. His third arrow penetrated the buckle of my 
waist-belt and reached my body, but wounded me not. 
It is only God who protected me, knowing me His servant. 
When I felt the touch of the arrow, my anger was kindled. 
I took up my bow and began to discharge arrows in 
abundance. Upon this my adversaries began to flee. 
I took aim and killed the young chief, Hari Chand. When 
he perished my heroes trampled their enemies under foot. 
The chief of Korori was seized by death. Upon this the 
hillmen fled in consternation and I, through the favour 
of the eternal God, gained the victory. Having thus held 
the battle-field, we raised aloud the song of triumph. 
I showered wealth on my warriors and they all rejoiced. 

Raja Fatah Shah saw there was only safety in 


flight, and hastened to retire to his capital. Praises 
of the Guru's valour and skill in warfare were sung 
throughout the country. 

Chapter VI 

After the battle the Guru went to where lay the 
bodies of Sango Shah, Jit Mai, and his other brave 
fallen Sikhs. He ordered the slain on both sides to 
be disposed of. The bodies of the Sikhs were cre- 
mated, of the Hindus thrown into the adjacent river, 
and of the Musalmans buried with all solemnity. 
Bards assembled and chanted their praises. Saiyid 
Budhu Shah presented himself and his two surviving 
sons to the Guru. The Guru said, ' I hail thee as 
a true priest of God. Thy human life is profitable 
unto thee. Deem not that thy sons are dead. Nay, 
they shall live for ever. Only those die who despise 
God's name and turn cowards on the field of battle.' 
Budhu Shah replied, ' True king, I mourn not for 
my sons who are slain, because, in the first place, 
they have gone to enjoy seats in paradise, and, 
secondly, because they have lost their lives in defence 
of thee. Such a boon is not obtained even by the 
greatest austerities.' 

The Guru considered how he should requite Budhu 
Shah for his supreme devotion to his cause. He 
decided that, as worldly possessions were fleeting, 
the gift of God's name was the highest reward of 
all, and so that inestimable boon he duly conferred 
on him. But he made him other gifts also. The 
Guru at the time was combing his long hair, and 
a servant stood by holding his turban. When the 
Guru had performed his toilet, he laid his comb with 
loose hair in it upon the turban and presented them 
to Budhu Shah to preserve in remembrance of him. 
He also gave him a small knife which Sikhs usually 
carry, and finally a sum of five thousand rupees to 
distribute among his disciples. The Guru's turban, 


his comb, hair, and knife are preserved as relics 
in the Sikh state of Nabha. They were acquired 
from Budhu Shah's descendants by Raja Bharpur 

The Guru remembered his cousins Sango Shah and 
Jit Mai, and proclaimed them brave and puissant 
warriors who had taken their seats in heaven. He 
bade their brothers not mourn for them. The 
brothers replied, ' For whom should we mourn? Sango 
Shah and Jit Mai have fought and obtained the 
dignity of salvation. War means either to kill or 
be killed, and there is no need to mourn the con- 
sequences.' The Guru rewarded all those who had 
risked their lives for him and contributed to his 
signal and decisive victory. 

When the Guru's fame extended after his recent 
success and prowess in arms, he was visited by many 
accomplished persons. Poets, singers, and musicians 
flocked to his court, and all who visited him he 
endeavoured to suitably reward. Now that the war 
was over, the Sikh soldiers formed various projects 
to occupy their time for the future. They would 
go and seize Raja Fatah Shah, and make him bow 
at the Guru's feet. And they would conquer and 
obtain the freedom of the country between Paunta 
and Anandpur, so as to remove the obstacles inter- 
posed in marching hither and thither. This last 
enterprise, as being the one that affected them most 
closely, they specially urged on the Guru's con- 

The Guru remonstrated and restrained them. He 
bade them bide their opportunity. Their empire 
should yet extend far and wide. He knew, however, 
that his troops would not sit down idle, flushed as 
they were with their recent victory. Accordingly 
he gave them an order to return to Anandpur, an 
order with which they were delighted. They all set 
forth accordingly, taking their wounded and their 


The Guru marched by way of Sadhaura and Lahar- 
pur. He encamped at the latter place, and was there 
met by the envoy of the Raja of Nahan, who desired 
to come to meet him. The Guru sent his army to 
Anandpur, and remained himself with only a few 
followers to meet the Raja. The Guru was fain to 
divert himself with the chase after his recent warfare, 
and ample opportunities were afforded him in that 
part of the country. During his stay in Laharpur, 
Budhu Shah often visited him, and held religious con- 
versations with him. Though the Raja of Nahan 
very much desired to entertain the Guru, yet he 
apprehended the wrath of the other hill chiefs if 
he were known to be still on amicable terms with 
the high priest of the Sikhs, who had inflicted on 
them such a signal defeat. The Raja used to send 
a messenger daily to say that he was coming ; but 
somehow he was accidentally prevented. He would, 
however, come on the morrow. The Raja carried on 
this method of procrastination from day to day. 
At last he asked the advice of his ministers, whether 
it was proper for him to meet the Guru or not. 
They advised him that it was not, seeing that the 
Guru was at enmity with all the hill chiefs. Were 
he now to meet the Guru, the chiefs would resent it 
and probably make war on him. On this the Raja 
sent a messenger to say he was very busy and could 
not go himself to meet the Guru, but he would send 
his chief minister to do him the honours of the 
state. The Guru did not conceal his knowledge of 
the Raja's motives, and sent him a message that he 
would now continue his journey to Anandpur, and 
the Raja need not give himself any further concern 
on the subject of an interview. 

The Guru stayed altogether thirteen days at Lahar- 
pur. The principal inhabitants were Ranghars, 
thieves by instinct and profession, who stole two of 
his camels. When the Ranghars refused to give up 
the booty, the Guru sent for a faqir who lived near, 


and told him to go, under pretence of begging, to 
the house of a certain Ranghar, and see whether the 
camels were there. The faqir went, saw the camels, 
and duly reported his discovery. The Guru sent for 
the Ranghar in possession, and told him to act as an 
honest man, and give up the camels, otherwise he 
would oust him from house and home. On this the 
Ranghar parted with the stolen property. The Guru 
called the Ranghars' village counterfeit, and the 
faqir's village genuine, and said the faqir's village 
should ever gain and the Ranghaijs' ever lose. The 
prophecy of the Guru has been fulfilled. A temple 
called Toka was subsequently constructed in Lahar- 
pur in honour of the Guru's visit. 

As the Guru proceeded to Anandpur he was met by 
the Rani of Raipur, 1 who waited for him on his route. 
After making her obeisance she asked him to take rest 
at her capital. The Guru gladly accepted her invita- 
tion. She showed him the greatest hospitality and 
sent her son to him with an offering of a bag of rupees. 
At a subsequent interview she entreated the Guru to 
pray that her son's line might permanently endure. 
The Guru said that her son ought to allow his hair 
to grow and perfect himself in the practice of arms. 
The Rani replied that the Turks were in power, and 
she was afraid to allow her son to dress differently 
from them. The Guru exhorted her not to be afraid. 
The rule of the Turks should only last for a brief 
period. ' When my sect groweth more numerous and 
obtaineth possession of the empire of the Turks, it 
shall then adopt long hair as a distinction. And 
when the line of the Turks is extirpated, thine shall 

1 Raipur is in the sub-collectorate of Naraingarh in the present 
district of Ambala in the Panjab. To Raipur are attached about 
twenty-three villages, yielding a yearly income of Rs. 18,000. The 
present proprietor is Rao Baldev Singh, a Hindu Rajput. His grand- 
father was a Sikh. In the fort of Raipur is a Gurdwara on the spot 
where Gobind Rai dined as the Rani's guest. There is also a 
Gurdwara outside the fort on the spot where his tent was pitched. 
The Granth Sahib is kept in both Gurdwaras. 


remain in undiminished dignity. It shall then unite 
with the Khalsa and obtain all happiness.' 

Upon this the Guru took his sword and shield and 
presented them to the Rani's son. He said, ' Take 
them and treat them with respect, so that when the 
time of trouble ariseth, thy wishes may be fulfilled, 
and thy life and property preserved.' The Rani was 
delighted with the Guru's presents and words, and 
thus addressed him : ' Great king, great are thy 
gifts. Who can deprive us of them ? It is thy un- 
swerving duty to hold thyself bound by the bonds of 
love for the human race, and thou art, moreover, 
merciful and compassionate.' The Rani, seeing that 
the Guru had made the gift with his own sacred hands, 
was filled with delight, and taking the sword and 
shield put them respectfully on her head and then 
touched her son's head with them. She bound a 
coverlet on a couch and placed the weapons reverently 
on it. After this the Guru continued his journey to 

On the way the Guru halted at Kiratpur, where 
Gulab Rai and Sham Das, the grandsons of Guru 
Har Gobind, came to visit him. He there visited 
the shrines of his ancestors. When it became known 
that the Guru was returning to Anandpur, the 
inhabitants of that city came forth to receive him, 
and there were unusual rejoicings on his safe and 
glorious return. 

Not long afterwards complaints began to be made 
against the Guru's troops to Raja Bhim Chand. 
Whenever the Guru's men did not accompany him 
to the chase, they used to go hunting in detached 
groups by themselves. The Guru at that time set 
about the construction of a fort, and made a strong 
and lofty battlement around it. 

Raja Bhim Chand was greatly irritated by the 
numerous complaints he continually received against 
the Sikhs. He took counsel with his minister, ' What 
shall we do ? We are not strong enough to contend 



with the Guru, but how long are we to endure this 
annoyance ? ' The minister replied, ' O Raja, I see 
no solution of the difficulty except reconciliation 
with the Guru.' All the other principal state officers 
who were consulted gave similar replies. Bhim 
Chand then decided that he would send an envoy 
to ascertain if the Guru had any intention of making 
an abiding peace with him. 

The envoy, who was selected from the most 
polished officials of the state, duly delivered his 
master's message praying for peace and forgetfulness 
of the past. The Guru replied, ' I have not fallen 
out with Raja Bhim Chand, but he hath fallen out 
with me. See what deceit he exercised in his efforts 
to obtain my elephant. When his marriage proces- 
sion went to Srinagar, he endeavoured to kill my 
minister and his troops. It was only by God's 
special favour they escaped. Even then thy Raja 
left nothing undone against us, for he incited Fatah 
Shah who had been my friend to make war on us. 
Here again God protected us and we obtained the 
victory. O envoy, our army hath taken possession 
of no fort or village of yours. My troopers are 
grievously in want of grass for their horses, and 
goats' flesh for themselves. These can only be 
obtained from your villages. If we do not obtain 
them on payment we must starve, but we do not 
desire to accept anything else from you.' 

The envoy smiled and said, ' Consider Raja Bhim 
Chand' s country as thine own. He is very anxious 
to meet thee, and if thou permit me I will conduct 
him here.' The Guru replied, ' In Guru Nanak's 
house men meet their deserts. If any one with lowly 
mind enter therein, he shall be happy ; but if any 
one, lifting his head too high, enter it, his life shall 
pay the forfeit. Then plainly tell thy Raja that if 
he entertain friendly intent, he may come to me, 
and he shall be received with due consideration.' 
The Raja was very pleased on receiving this message, 


and at once made elaborate preparations for his 
visit to the Guru. 

When Bhim Chand was introduced into the Guru's 
presence he said, ' O true Guru, thy name is cherisher 
of those who seek thy protection. I pray thee to 
pardon and forget any foolish words I might have 
uttered or any foolish acts I might have done.' The 
Guru replied, ' O Raja, I have not been thine aggres- 
sor. The aggression hath been all on thy side. If 
thou act fairly towards the Guru, he will act fairly 
towards thee.' Bhim Chand promised to act for the 
future according to the Guru's wishes. Upon this 
the Guru gave him a magnificent robe of honour, 
and dismissed him highly delighted with the inter- 

The Guru's wife Sundari now presented him with 
a son named Ajit Singh on the fourth day of the 
bright half of Magh, Sambat 1743 (a. d. 1687). 

Chapter VII 

During the absence of the Emperor Aurangzeb in 
the south of India, whither he had gone to make 
war on Tana Shah, King of Golkanda, 1 there arose 
great administrative irregularities. At that time 
Mian Khan was viceroy of Jammu. He sent his 
commander-in-chief, Alif Khan, to levy tribute on 
Kripal, Raja of Kangra, Kesari Chand, Raja of 
Jaswal, Prithi Chand, Raja of Dadhwal, Sukh Dev, 
Raja of Jasrot, and others. Alif Khan first addressed 
himself to Raja Kripal, ' Either pay me suitable 
tribute or contend with me in arms.' Kripal made 
him certain presents, and then told him that Raja 
Bhim Chand of Bilaspur was the greatest of all the 
allied hill chiefs. Were he first to pay tribute, all the 
rest would follow his example, and then there would 

1 Golkanda was then the capital of the state of Haidarabad in the 

E 2 


be no necessity for warfare. If, however, Bhim 
Chand were to refuse and elect the alternative of 
war, Kripal would still support Alif Khan. Raja 
Dayal, the chief of Bijharwal, probably persuaded by 
Raja Kripal, also promised to meet Alif Khan's 

Alif Khan adopted Raja Kripal's suggestion and 
proceeded towards Bilaspur, Raja Bhim Chand's 
capital. Halting at Nadaun he sent an envoy to 
Bhim Chand with the same demand as he had 
previously made Kripal. Bhim Chand replied that 
he would rather defend himself than pay tribute. 
Having dispatched this message he called his prin- 
cipal officials to a council of war. His prime minister 
thus advised him — ' If thou desire victory, it shall be 
assured on condition that thou obtain the Guru's 
assistance.' This advice pleased Bhim Chand, and 
he accordingly sent the prime minister to the Guru 
to request his active support. 

The Guru pondered on the proposal and accepted 
it for the following reasons : — The friendship between 
himself and Raja Bhim Chand was duly ratified, 
and it would be a shame to him if, by his refusal to 
render assistance, his friend were defeated. Secondly, 
Bhim Chand's prime minister had put himself under 
the Guru's protection as a suppliant, and the Guru 
felt that he could not refuse his prayer. He 
accordingly sent Raja Bhim Chand the following 
message, ' I shall be with thee early on the morrow. 
Pay no tribute to the Turks. If thou pay it to-day, 
there will be another demand on thee to-morrow. 
But if thou fight and cause the Turks to retreat, 
then shall no one molest thee.' 

Raja Bhim Chand on receiving this promise made 
certain of his victory. Raja Kesari Chand, Raja 
Prithi Chand, and Raja Sukh Dev took their forces 
to join his, and all proceeded to Nadaun to give 
battle to Alif Khan, Raja Kripal, and Raja Dayal's 
troops. These were encamped on an eminence, and 


had therefore superiority of position. Bhim Chand 
ineffectually essayed to take them by surprise, but 
the arrows and bullets which his troops discharged 
only struck rocks and trees, and inflicted no loss on 
the enemy. Bhim Chand, much disheartened, in 
voked with all fervour, Hanuman, the monkey-god 
who had assisted Ram Chandar in his expedition 
against Ceylon, and called on his allies to join him 
in another charge. This was met by Raja Kripal 
and Raja Dayal's forces, who slew all the men that 
succeeded in scaling the eminence. Bhim Chand 
had now almost lost all hope when the minister 
reminded him that the Guru's troops had not yet 
entered the field. The Guru receiving Bhim Chand' s 
summons, mounted his steed, and at once proceeded 
to his assistance. 

Bhim Chand, after greeting the Guru, requested 
him, who was senior as well by virtue of his spiritual 
rank as by the bravery of his troops, to storm the 
enemies' position. The Guru and his troops dis- 
charged fatal arrows, rushed the stockades, and 
created dismay in the ranks of the enemy. Alif 
Khan, Raja Kripal, and Raja Dayal now thought 
it time to leave their fastnesses and come forth to 
confront Bhim Chand and the Guru. Their main 
attack was directed against Bhim Chand whom they 
caused to retreat. Prithi Chand endeavoured to 
restrain Bhim Chand' s retreating forces, and single- 
handed, with drawn sword, set himself to oppose 
Alif Khan and Dayal's onset. So completely did he 
succeed that Alif Khan and his allies' troops turned 
to flee. Raja Dayal was enraged at seeing his troops 
retreating, and began to ply his arrows with such 
fatal effect on his opponents that Bhim Chand' s 
troops again wavered. Upon this Bhim Chand 
again addressed himself to the Guru, ' O Guru, 
seest thou not that this brave man is destroying 
our army ? If I am defeated, thou shalt have the 
odium thereof.' The Guru at once turned his steed 


round and challenged Raja Dayal, ' If thou mean to 
strike, then deal the first blow. Say not hereafter 
that the Guru hath struck thee unawares.' This 
enraged Dayal, who at once made a desperate effort 
to kill the Guru. The Guru, seeing this, took steady 
aim with his musket and lodged a bullet in Dayal' s 
breast. Dayal fell like a tree blown down by the 

When Raja Kripal saw his brave ally fallen, he 
knew that his cause was lost. He, however, put him- 
self in the van and made a desperate effort to retrieve 
the disaster. The Guru, now in full martial temper, 
incessantly discharged arrows which took deadly 
effect on the enemy. The survivors again fled to 
their fastnesses. Upon this Alif Khan and Kripal 
held a council of war. They both accepted the fact 
that they had been defeated owing to the assistance 
given Bhim Chand by the Guru, and they resolved to 
escape at night. In this they succeeded. When the 
allied army next morning found the ground un- 
occupied, they were profuse in their praises and 
acknowledgements to the Guru. The Guru in order 
to take rest and enjoy retirement and contemplation 
remained for eight days after the battle on the 
pleasant and picturesque banks of the river 

Raja Kripal proposed a reconciliation with Raja 
Bhim Chand, which, after some negotiations, was 
duly effected. The Guru on hearing this was greatly 
pleased. He decided on a speedy return to Anand- 
pur, and caused his drum to be beaten as the signal 
for his departure. His party arrived at Alsun on 
their way. The inhabitants, having heard of Raja 
Bhim Chand' s secret ill-will to the Guru, refused to 
sell his troops supplies. On this the Guru, owing to 
the necessity of travel, was compelled to order that 
supplies be forcibly taken after payment at current 
rates. When the Guru approached Anandpur he 
caused his drum to be beaten. The inhabitants on 


hearing the once familiar sound joyously came forth 
to receive him. 

The Guru's wife, Jito, presented him with a son 
on the seventh day of the month of Chet, Sambat 
1747. The boy was called Zorawar Singh, or the 
powerful lion, to commemorate the battle of Nadaun. 1 

When it became known that the Sikhs had taken 
supplies forcibly at Alsun, some of the hill chiefs feared 
that the Guru would some day seize their territories 
also. Others were of a contrary opinion, and remained 
steadfast in their friendship for him. Some of the 
inhabitants of Anandpur who wavered in their 
loyalty, left the city lest they might suffer in any 
attack made on it by the Guru's enemies. In this 
movement, however, they were far from successfuL 
Branded with infamy they could obtain no place of 
rest elsewhere, and were glad to return and sue for 
the Guru's pardon. 

One Dilawar Khan, who had attained power in 
the Panjab during the insurrections which arose 
while Aurangzeb was employed in the Dakhan, 
became jealous of the Guru's fame and success, and 
sent his son with a force of one thousand men to 
exact tribute from him. If he refused, then Anandpur 
was to be sacked. When this was accomplished, 
Dilawar' s son was to take tribute in a similar manner 
from all the hill rajas. The son hastened to obey the 
paternal command. When he reached the bank of 
the Satluj one of the Guru's scouts hastened to give 
information of the approach of a hostile force. The 
Guru was roused from his sleep at night to receive 
this intelligence and make hasty preparations for 

The Guru immediately ordered the drum to be 
beaten as the signal for his troops to take arms. 
His men fell into line almost immediately and 
marched to the Satluj . On their arrival they startled 

1 We here follow the Suraj Parkdsh and the Gur Bilas. Others 
say it was Jujhar Singh who was born in the Sambat year 1747. 


the enemy by peals of artillery, and thus gave an 
exaggerated idea of their numbers. Dilawar Khan's 
son, seeing that his men were suffering from the cold 
and unable to hold their weapons, yielded to the 
representations of his officers to beat a retreat. On 
their return march they plundered the town of 
Barwa. After that they marched to Bhalan, where 
they halted for two days and lived on the plunder 
of the village. They thence returned to Dilawar 
Khan. The son through shame durst not reply to 
his father when he censured him for his cowardice 
and the failure of his expedition. 

Dilawar Khan had a slave called Husain, who 
boasted that if his master gave him an army he 
would plunder the Guru's city, Anandpur, exact 
tribute from Raja Bhim Chand, and return home 
either with tribute or the heads of the recusant hill 
chiefs. To effect these various objects, Dilawar 
Khan gave him command of two thousand men, 
with whom he promptly marched to Anandpur. 

The Guru kept his troops in readiness to oppose 
the Muhammadans. Meanwhile the latter were 
plundering the towns and villages through which 
they marched. They also attacked and were victori- 
ous over the Raja of Dadhwal. Seeing this and also 
the strength of Husain' s army, the faithless Raja 
Bhim Chand broke his treaty with the Guru, and 
threw in his lot with his enemies. Bhim Chand, 
following the example of Raja Kripal of Kangra, 
paid tribute to Husain, and in company with other 
traitorous chiefs proceeded with him to sack and 
destroy Anandpur. On hearing this the Guru's 
mother, Diwan Nand Chand, the Guru's three sur- 
viving cousins, and the masands, all waited on the 
Guru. His mother said, ' The brave Husain with 
a large army will soon be upon us, and thou hast 
not yet prepared for battle. My son, depute some 
masand to go and make peace with him.' The Guru 
replied, ' Mother dear, be not in haste. I am only 


doing the work which the immortal God assigned 
me. The same immortal God will not allow him 
whom thou counsellest me to fear to approach me. 
He shall perish before he reacheth Anandpur.' 

When Husain was on his way to Anandpur, Raja 
Gopal of Guler sent an envoy to say that he desired to 
meet him. Husain replied that he would be glad to 
see Gopal if he gave him a subsidy as Raja Bhim 
Chand and Kripal had done. Raja Gopal went with 
Raja Ram Singh to meet him. Gopal took some 
money with him, and went and sat in council with 
Bhim Chand and the other hill chiefs who were 
in Husain' s camp. Husain was not pleased with 
Gopal' s contribution, and told him to go home and 
bring as much again. Gopal set out for the purpose. 
On his homeward way he changed his mind, and 
decided that it would be more profitable to fight 
with Husain than give him more money. He accord- 
ingly sent a messenger to inform him of his deter- 
mination. When Husain received this message, he 
changed his objective from Anandpur to Guler to 
do battle with Gopal. He vowed that he would first 
destroy Gopal' s city and then march on Anandpur. 

In pursuance of his vow Husain proceeded to Guler 
and invested it. The citizens were soon reduced to 
great straits, and the army asked permission to force 
their way out and contend with the Muhammadans 
in the open field. Raj a Gopal replied, ' Have patience ; 
I will at once send an envoy to make peace with 
Husain.' Husain's terms were the payment of ten 
thousand rupees, otherwise he would put Gopal and 
his troops to death and destroy their fortress. Gopal, 
unable to accept the terms, sent an envoy to the 
Guru to pray him to negotiate the desired peace with 
Husain. The Guru accordingly sent his agent San- 
gatia with an escort of seven troopers and orders to 
conclude such a peace between the combatants as 
would be advantageous to Gopal. 

Sangatia first took counsel with Bhim Chand and 


Kripal. Bhim Chand said, ' O Sikh, we have been 
waiting for thee. We advise thee to send for Raja 
Gopal at once, and effect a reconciliation between 
him and Husain.' In pursuance of this object, 
Sangatia, who knew that Bhim Chand and Kripal 
were on Husain' s side, took an oath from them 
that if he could succeed in bringing Gopal to them 
for the purpose of arranging peace, they would 
not molest him. Sangatia then went to Gopal and 
stated all the circumstances. He promised Gopal 
that the Guru would conduct him to Bhim Chand 
and Kripal who were with Husain, and again take 
him back in safety to his fort. Sangatia added that 
if Husain did not agree to peace, but accepted the 
fate of battle, Gopal should by the Guru's favour be 

When Gopal reached the allied chiefs, Bhim Chand 
told him that if he paid the tribute demanded all 
would be well. Gopal still refused to pay the money, 
and said Husain might do as he pleased. Upon this, 
Kripal plotted with Bhim Chand to arrest him 
and make him over to Husain. Gopal, who heard 
their intention, contrived to elude them, and having 
retired to the protection of his army sent a message 
of defiance to his enemies. 

On one side were ranged Husain, Raja Bhim 
Chand of Bilaspur, and Raja Kripal of Kangra. On 
the other were Raja Gopal of Guler and Raja Ram 
Singh, a powerful chief who was in alliance with him. 
The fight began with indescribable vehemence. The 
Guru's envoy Sangatia and his seven Sikhs were 
slain. Husain having fought with great bravery 
perished on the battle-field. Raja Kripal of Kangra 
was slain. Himmat and Kimmat, two of Husain's 
officers, were also slain. On seeing this, Bhim 
Chand fled with his army. Gopal then went with 
large offerings to the Guru and thanked him for his 
support and his prayers for the victory. 

Some masands escaped to the neighbouring hills 


and proclaimed themselves gurus. In this they had 
a twofold object. The Emperor Aurangzeb sent 
his son Muazzim, afterwards known as Bahadur 
Shah, into the Panjab to collect tribute, and the 
masands feared that they should have to part with 
their wealth both to the Emperor and the Guru. It 
does not appear that the Emperor's son remained 
long in the Panjab or committed any depredations 
there. He was succeeded by General Mirza Beg, 
who peremptorily demanded tribute from the hill 
chiefs. They represented that the masands who had 
settled in their territories, were in possession of great 
wealth of which they had plundered the Guru and 
his Sikhs, and which they might be called upon to dis- 
gorge. Mirza Beg proceeded against them, stripped 
them of all they possessed, and subjected them to ex- 
quisite tortures. Any that escaped from him were 
afterwards punished by four other equally relent- 
less officers who succeeded him. 

A third son, Jujhar Singh, was now born to the 
Guru on Sunday, the first day of the second half of the 
month of Magh, Sambat 1753, A. D. 1697. This was 
his wife Jito's second son. 

Among those who went to the Guru to congratu- 
late him on the birth of his son were many bards, 
Sanyasis, Udasis, and Bairagis, who had often lis- 
tened to the Guru's conversation. At that time too 
came a bard called Kuwar, son of a famous poet 
called Kesho Das of Bundhelkhand. Aurangzeb had 
tried to convert Kuwar forcibly to Islam, upon 
which he fled for protection to the Guru. He pre- 
sented a very humble metrical petition, which the 
Guru was pleased to accept. The Guru took him 
into his service on a liberal salary, and in a similar 
way welcomed all bards who came to him for 

The practice of arms was never lost sight of at the 
Guru's court. Even his eldest son, Ajit Singh, though 
now only ten years of age, was duly instructed in the 


use of offensive and defensive weapons. The Guru 
used to take Zorawar Singh in his lap while he 
watched Ajit Singh fencing. Jujhar Singh too used 
to be brought by his nurse to witness the performance 
and imbibe from infancy a love for martial exer- 
cises. The Guru used often to inform his children 
of what the country had suffered from the Turks, 
so it behoved them to learn how to protect them- 
selves and their Sikhs. 

Jito in due time gave birth to a third son, Fatah 
Singh, who was born on Wednesday, the eleventh 
day of Phagan, Sambat 1755, A. D. 1699. This was 
the Guru's fourth son in all. 

Chapter VIII 

One day the Sikhs asked a pandit who used to 
read epic poems to the Guru, ' Are the deeds attri- 
buted to Bhim, Arj an, and others, real or exaggerated? ' 
The pandit, thus addressed, actuated by greed, de- 
cided to mislead his questioners, and replied, ' Bhim, 
Arj an, and the rest were really as powerful as they 
are described to have been. This was the result of 
their sacrifices and burnt offerings in honour of 
Durga which made her visible to them.' The Sikhs 
then prayed the pandit to show them how they 
could behold the goddess, and vanquish their 
enemies. The pandit, on hearing this, inwardly 
rejoiced that the Sikhs had at last fallen into his 
power, and, what he deemed more important, that 
he had found an opportunity of making a compe- 
tence for himself. He replied, ' Although no god 
or goddess becometh visible in this Kal age, yet such 
a manifestation may be possible by a due expendi- 
ture of money and by the performance of certain 
acts of devotion. Were the goddess Durga to appear, 
she would fulfil all your desires. But a great feast 
must first be celebrated, and a trial made as to who 


are the most holy Brahmans, so that they may 
perform sacrifice and burnt offerings with the object 
of ensuring the appearance of the goddess.' The 
Sikhs informed the Guru of this conversation. He 
said to the pandit, ' Your statement that the goddess 
becometh not manifest in the Kal age is not supported 
by proof. If she appeared in the past ages, why 
should she not also in this ? And if she appear not 
in this age, then it is unlikely that she appeared in 
any former age. At the same time, I require not 
her blessings or curses. I am son of the Immortal, 
who is the King of gods and men, who controlleth 
millions of worlds, who is omnipotent, who cherisheth 
me ; and I have no need to adore gods or goddesses.' 1 
The pandit again represented that if the Sikhs 
made Durga manifest, they should be successful in 
all their battles as Durga herself had been in all her 
contests 2 with the demons who had made war on 
the benign deities. The Guru being thus impor- 
tuned, determined to demonstrate the hypocrisy of 
the Brahmans. He invited them all to a great feast. 
Every form of viands, including meat, was provided 
for the guests. When they were assembled, he made 
it known that he would give five gold muhars to 
each Brahman who ate meat, while to each of those 
who ate food cooked with clarified butter he would 
give five rupees. To eat meat is really forbidden to 
all Brahmans; yet several of them did so, induced 
by the promised reward. According to one account 
fourteen, and according to another twenty-one 
Brahmans refused the meat offered them. The 
Guru went to the Brahmans who had eaten it, 
and rebuked them, saying, ' You are setting a bad 
example to your people. You are not Brahmans 
but ghouls. It is to deceive men you wear the tilaks 
on your foreheads and pretend you are high priests 

1 Bhai Gyan Singh's Panth Parkash, Chapter 25. 

2 These are related in the Markandeya Puran of the Hindus. The 
work has recently been translated by Mr. F. E. Pargiter. 


of religion, but in reality you are merely Chandals, 
the lowest class of pariahs.' The Guru, however, 
gave them the promised reward. 

On that occasion the Guru quoted the following 
words of Kabir : — 

Kabir, where there is divine knowledge there is virtue ; 
and where there is falsehood there is sin ; 

Where there is covetousness there is death ; where there 
is forgiveness there is God Himself. 

The Guru also quoted the following slok of Guru 
Amar Das : — 

As far as possible rely not on the covetous : 
At the last moment they will plant thee where nobody 
will lend thee a hand. 

The Brahmans who abstained from meat pressed 
the pandit's suggestion on the Guru, ' If thou by 
worship and austerities can behold Durga, who is the 
living burning light of this age, she will grant thee 
any boon thou mayest desire.' The Guru inquired, 
' Can you render Durga manifest ? What you propose 
is not according to my religion.' The Brahmans 
replied that there was a Brahman called Kesho at 
Banaras who had power to render the goddess 
manifest, but he would demand large remuneration. 
The Guru again asked how a man filled with greed, 
such as they represented Kesho to be, could possess 
such spiritual power as to cause Durga to appear. 
The Brahmans, unable to answer this question, took 
their departure. 

The Guru utilized the assemblage at the Hindu 
festival of the Holi to organize on the following day 
a mimic warfare, which he called mahalla, 1 for the 
exercise of his troops. The object of the Guru has 
in recent times been obtained by the camps of exercise 
yearly established by the Indian Government. 2 

1 A place for halla or contest. 

2 Sardar Kahn Singh's Gurumat Prabhakar, p. 134. 


Kesho, who was exceedingly avaricious, heard that 
the Guru was very open-handed, and accordingly 
went to him. He said he was on his way to behold 
the goddess of Jawalamukhi, but had halted to see 
the Guru whose greatness was universally recog- 
nized. He told the Guru that he had power to render 
the goddess manifest, but the ceremonies and burnt 
offerings which would have to be performed as 
a preliminary would be very expensive. Kesho was 
supported by the other Brahmans, who again pressed 
the Guru to have the necessary ceremonies and 
burnt offerings performed. The Guru in order to 
demonstrate Kesho' s insincerity outwardly accepted 
his offer. The Brahman on ascertaining the Guru's 
wealth was highly pleased and promised all assistance. 
He made out a list of materials for a horn or burnt 
offering, which would cost a large sum of money. 
The Guru provided what was required, and asked 
where the hom was to be performed. The Brah- 
man replied that it must be performed in a lonely 
spot. The Guru pointed to the beautiful hill of 
Naina Devi as a place where all ceremonies could 
be performed privately and without interruption. 
The Brahman was much pleased, praised the Guru's 
judgement and liberality, and said that the god- 
dess would certainly appear at the place indicated. 
The Guru then ordered the ground to be cleared, 
after which the Brahman proceeded to perform the 
ceremonies necessary for the goddess's manifesta- 

One day the Guru went out shooting and killed 
several forest birds. On his return Kesho told him 
the goddess would never appear to any one who took 
life. The Guru replied that animals were continually 
sacrificed to the Brahman's goddess at Jawala- 
mukhi. He then ordered his servant to let go the 
birds. When the strings with which they had been 
fastened to the Guru's saddle were undone, it is 
said, the birds flew away. Kesho was astonished and 


expressed himself happy at having been brought in 
contact with such a holy man as the Guru. 

The Guru had many strange presents made him. 
One day a gardener presented himself. He had 
come all the way from Patna with a young mango- 
tree as an offering. The gardener narrated how he 
had planted a garden, and vowed in the hope of 
success to give the first tree it produced to the Guru. 
He now brought the tree, and asked the Guru where 
he would have it planted. The Guru said he would 
shoot an arrow, and where it fell the tree might be 
planted. The Guru's arrow fell far distant, and 
there the young tree was duly planted. 

After nine months' worship and invocation of the 
goddess the pandit told the Guru that she would soon 
appear. There would be many indications of such 
a result. A disastrous earthquake would occur, 
there would be unusual lightnings, and several other 
formidable portents would appear in the heavens. 
The Guru pressed the Brahman to fix a date for the 
goddess's appearance. The Brahman fixed the first 
day of the Nauratar — a festival in honour of Durga 
held in the month of Assu and Chet — for the pheno- 
menon. The first day of Chet passed, and she did 
not appear. The Brahman then said she would 
appear on the fifth of the Nauratar. The fifth day 
passed, and she did not appear. The Brahman then 
said that some holy person must be offered as 
a sacrifice to her, and she would afterwards un- 
doubtedly disclose herself. The Guru replied, ' Who 
so worthy to be offered as a sacrifice as thou ? Thou 
sayest there are none so holy as Brahmans.' The 
pandit on hearing this began to suspect that the 
Guru meant to sacrifice him to the goddess, and, 
if this occurred, what a sad recompense it would be 
for all his labours ! He then said, ' If thou give 
me permission, I will go and fetch a human sacri- 
fice. The Guru replied, ' No ; the sacrifice is here.' 
On this the pandit's courage oozed forth from the 


partitions of his brain. He immediately left the 
Guru's presence on the pretext of performing an 
office of nature, and never paused in his flight until 
he had arrived at a safe retreat. 

After Kesho had thus absconded, the Guru ordered 
that the materials which had been collected for the 
ceremony should be thrown into the hom-pit. Upon 
this a great flame shot up towards the heavens. When 
this was seen from afar, all the spectators felt certain 
that the Guru himself had caused Durga to appear. 
The Guru drew his sword and set out for Anandpur. 
When the people asked if the goddess had appeared 
to him, he raised his sword aloft, inasmuch as to 
say that by God's assistance his sword would per- 
form the deeds which the Brahmans attributed to 
Durga. The people then erroneously believed that 
the goddess had given him the sword. 1 

The Baisakhi festival was now approaching. The 
Guru gave a great feast to which he invited all 
who were assembled in Anandpur, but omitted the 
Brahman Kesho. He, however, sent for him when 
all the guests had partaken of the feast. Kesho 
angrily refused the invitation, and said he would 
not eat the leavings of a low-caste rabble. Diwan 
Nand Chand, on behalf of the Guru, recalled 
to Kesho's memory the fact that he had like a 
coward deserted him. ' Fine service thou didst 
perform for him, and thine anger and disappoint- 
ment are the result ! ' Kesho on further reflection went 
to the Guru, but at the same time refused to eat the 
remains of the feast. The Guru composed the fol- 
lowing on this occasion : — 

Whatever God wrote in thy destiny thou hast obtained ; 
O Brahman, banish thy regret : 

It is not my fault that it escaped my memory ; think not 
of anger. 

I shall send thee clothes and bedding to-day; be thoroughly 
assured of this. 

1 Gyan Singh's Panih Parkash, Chapter 25. 



Kesho replied — All Khatris are made by the Brahmans. 
The Guru — Look on my Sikhs here with a glance of 
favour. 1 

Here the Gurii began to laud his Sikhs and acknow- 
ledge the powerful assistance he had received from 
them : — 

My victories in battle have been through their favour ; 
through their favour I have already made gifts ; 

Through their favour all my troubles have been removed ; 
through their favour again my house is replenished ; 

Through their favour I have acquired knowledge ; through 
their kindness all my enemies have been killed ; 

Through their favour I am exalted ; otherwise there are 
millions of ordinary men like myself. 2 

To serve them pleaseth my heart ; no other service is 
dear to my soul. 

To bestow gifts on them is well ; to make gifts to others 
is not profitable for my Sikhs. 

To bestow upon them will bear fruit in the next world 
and will bring honour even in this : to bestow on others is 
altogether useless. 

All the wealth of my house with my soul and body is for 

The Brahman became angry and his heart began to fry 
and burn like dry grass. 

He wept at the custom which had been established for 
the future. 

Some writers are of opinion that the Guru, during 
the time the chroniclers state he was occupied in wor- 
shipping Durga, was in reality translating Sanskrit 
works in the seclusion and tranquillity of the moun- 
tain glades. These events occurred in Sambat 1755, 

1 This was said ironically. The Guru did not require Kesho's 
assistance for his Sikhs. 

2 That is, if the Sikhs had not assisted me I should be now in the 
same plight as millions of others. 


A. d. 1698, 1 and it was on the fourteenth day of June 
of that year the Guru according to his own state- 
ment completed his translation of the Ram Avatar 
from Sanskrit into Hindi. He adds that it was 
completed at the base of the lofty Naina Devi on 
the margin of the Satluj waters. 

Chapter IX 

We have now arrived at a very critical stage of 
our biography of the Guru, and it is necessary to 
set forth with clearness and certainty what the 
Guru really thought of idolatry or the worship of 
inanimate objects. 

On this subject the best evidence obtainable is the 
Guru's own acknowledged compositions. In the 
Akal Ustat he writes as follows : — 

Some worshipping stones put them on their heads, some 
suspend lingams from their necks ; 

Some see God in the south, some bow their heads to the 
west ; 2 

Some fools worship idols, others busy themselves with 
worshipping the dead. 

The whole world entangled in false ceremonies hath not 
found God*s secret. 

Again in the same composition the Guru addressing 
an idolater wrote as follows : — 

0 great beast, thou recognizest not Him whose glory 
filleth the three worlds. 

Instead of the Supreme God thou worshippest things the 
touch of which shall cause thee to lose heaven. 

By way of doing good acts thou committest sin at which 
even the greatest sins are abashed — 

1 Suraj Parkash, Rut III, Chapter 29. 

2 Dakhan desk Hart ka wdsa,pachh'im Allah mukama, Kabir. The 
God of the Hindus dwells in the south (in Dwaraka), of the Muham- 
madans in the west (Makka). 

F 2 


Fall at the feet of the Supreme Being, O fool ; He is not 
in a stone. 

In the Vichitar Natak are found the following 
among other similar verses : — 

I am not a worshipper of stones, 

Nor am I satisfied with any religious garb. 

In the thirty-three Sawaiyas the Guru expresses 
himself as follows : — 

Some fasten an idol firmly to their breasts, some say that 
Shiv is God ; 

Some say that God is in the temple of the Hindus ; others 
believe that He is in the mosque of the Musalmans ; 

Some say that Ram is God ; some say Krishan ; some in 
their hearts accept the incarnations as God ; 

But I have forgotten all vain religion and know in my 
heart that the Creator is the only God. 

Why worship a stone ? God is not in a stone. 

Worship Him as God by the worship of whom all thy sins 
shall be erased, 

And by taking whose name thou shalt be freed from all 
thy mental and bodily entanglements. 

Make the meditation of God ever thy rule of action ; no 
advantage can be obtained by the practice of false religion. 

Again the Guru writes as follows in his celebrated 
letter to the Emperor Aurangzeb : — 

I am the destroyer of the turbulent hillmen, 
Since they are idolaters and I am a breaker of idols. 

In further evidence of the Guru's sentiments on 
the subject of idolatry, we have a composition, 
either written or sanctioned by himself, which is 
found in his collected works, on which to base our 

There was a king called Sumat Sain married to a lady 
called Samarmati. They had four sons and an only 


daughter called Rankhambh Kala. The children were put 
under the tuition of a Brahman. One day the princess 
went earlier than usual to the Brahman's house and found 
him worshipping and prostrating himself before a salagram 
and a lingam. 1 She smiled on seeing her tutor thus engaged, 
and asked him the reason of his extraordinary conduct. 

The Brahman 

This salagram, O lady, is a god whom great kings adore. 
What dost thou who art ignorant know about it ? Thou 
deemest this salagram which is god to be a stone. 

The Princess 

0 great fool, thou recognizest not Him whose glory filleth 
the three worlds. Thou worshippest this stone at whose 
touch man's future bliss is forfeited. Thou committest sin 
to attain thine own object — such sin as other sins would be 
aghast at. O beast, fall at the feet of the great God ; He 
is not a stone. He liveth in the water, in the dry land, in 
all things, and in all monarchs. He is in the sun, in the 
moon, in the sky. Wherever thou lookest, thou mayest 
fix thy gaze on Him. He is in fire, in wind, and be- 
neath the earth. In what place is He not ? He is con- 
tained in everything. Were all the continents to become 
paper and the seven seas ink ; were all the vegetables to be 
cut down and employed as pens ; were Saraswati, the goddess 
of eloquence, to dictate and all beings to write for sixty 
ages, they could not in any way describe God. Yet, O fool, 
thou supposest Him to be a stone. O man, thou findest not 
God's secret. Thou deceivest the world in every way and 
fillest thy coffers with wealth as the reward of thy decep- 
tion. Thou art thyself called by the world a clever and 
wise pandit, but thou worshippest a stone and therefore 
thou appearest to me to have abdicated thy reason. While 

1 The lingam sacred to Shiv is the symbol of procreation. It was 
worshipped in ancient times in Rome as it is now in India. The 
author saw a lingam in the temple of Venus in Pompeii, and was 
informed by his Italian guide that it was a stone on which barren 
women used to sit in the hope of offspring. 


uttering ' Shiv, Shiv ' with thy mouth, thy heart is rilled 
with greed. Thou practisest excessive hypocrisy before the 
world, and art not ashamed to beg from door to door. 
Thou remainest for nearly two hours holding thy nose as 
if thou wert practising Jog. Thou standest on one leg 
invoking Shiv. If any one pass by and give thee one paisa, 
thou pickest it up with thy teeth, and forgettest thy gods. 
Thou givest instruction to others, but meditatest not on God 
thyself. Thou ever preachest to people to despise money. 
Yet for that very money thou beggest at the doors of high 
and low, and art not ashamed to debase thyself before even 
the meanest of thy fellow creatures. Thou sayest that 
thou art holy, but thou art very unholy. Thou callest 
thyself contented, but thou art very discontented, and only 
leavest one door to go and beg at another. Thou makest 
a clay idol of Shiv, and having worshipped it throwest it 
into the river. When thou returnest home thou settest up 
another in its place. Thou fallest at its feet, and rubbest 
thy forehead on the ground for an hour. Think what it 
hath to give thee. Thou worshippest the symbol of pro- 
creation, and fallest before it believing it to be Shiv. Thou 
callest a stone God, but it will not avail thee. Since the 
stone belongeth to the lowest order of creation, say what 
shall it give thee even if propitiated and pleased with thee ? 
Even if it at any time make thee like itself, thou shalt be 
no better than a stone. Great simpleton, be assured that, 
when thy life hath departed, it will be too late for thee to 
know anything of God. Thou hast passed thy childhood 
without prayer, but even in thy manhood thou hast not 
repeated God's name. Thou hast induced others to give 
charity, but never lifted thy hand to assist another. Thou 
hast bent thy head to stones, but never to God. O fool, 
entangled in thy domestic affairs, thy life thou hast passed 
in procrastination. Having read one or two Purans, O 
Brahman, thou art swollen with conceit. Thou hast not 
read the Puran through which all the sins of this life may 
be erased. It is for the sake of show thou practisest 
penance. Day and night thy mind is absorbed in lucre. 
Fools accept thy statements, but not I. Why practisest 


thou so much hypocrisy ? For what object adorest thou 
a stone ? Thou hast forfeited thy happiness here and 
hereafter. Thou givest false instruction and gladly accept- 
est all payment which thou claimest. It is enough that 
thou hast given evil instruction to my brothers ; instruct 
not me. 

The Brahman 

Hear me, 0 princess, thou hast not considered Shiv's 
greatness. Ever worship the gods Brahma, Vishnu, and 
Shiv. Thou knowest not their greatness, and that is why 
thou talkest in that way. Know that they are the oldest 
of all the gods, and do thou recognize them as the lords of 
the world. I am, O princess, a fasting Brahman, and love 
all both high and low. I communicate instruction to all and 
induce even great misers to practise charity. 

The Princess 

Thou communicatest spells in order to make disciples. 
Thou then takest money as offerings from them in whatever 
way thou canst, but thou teachest them not the truth, and 
marrest their happiness in this world and the next. Hear, 
O Brahman, thou plunderest in whatever way thou canst 
those to whom thou givest thine initiatory spell. The 
fools receive no divine knowledge from thee, but are fleeced 
for their pains. Thou tellest them that thy spell shall be 
advantageous to them, and that Shiv will grant them a 
boon. When the spells turn out unsuccessful, thou pre- 
tendest that they have omitted some necessary ceremony, 
and that is why they have not been successful. Thou next 
tellest them to give alms to Brahmans and perform the 
spell by which they might behold the god. Thou takest 
a fine from them when they ought to take it from thee for 
misleading them, and in return for their money thou givest 
them the same spell over again. Thou leadest them astray 
all along the line, and at last thou tellest them that they 
have omitted certain words, or that something interrupted 
the ceremonies to account for the non-appearance of the 
god and his failure to grant the desired blessing. On 



this thou counsellest them to again give thee alms. O 
Brahman, that is the sort of spell thou teachest those whose 
houses thou designest to plunder. And when thy victims 
become poor, thou goest to spy out others. Were thine 
incantations and spells efficacious, thou wouldst sit as a 
monarch at home and not go about begging. 

The Brahman filled with anger and heaping curses on 
the princess, said, ' How canst thou know mine affairs ? 
Thou talkest as if thou hadst taken bhang.' 

The Princess 

Hear, O Brahman, it is thou who knowest not what thou 
sayest. Thou addressest me in an insolent manner. My 
senses are not stolen away by bhang. Whither have thine 
own senses gone without it ? Thou callest thyself wise in that 
thou never takest bhang even by mistake, but when thou 
goest a-begging, thou insultest, as if under the influence of 
bhang, him whose house thou visitest. Why beg from 
door to door for the money thou pretendest to despise ? 
Thou goest to rajas and takest morsels from them. Thou 
sayest thou hast abandoned all worldly things and preachest 
to everybody to do the same. Why stretchest thou forth 
thy hand to grasp what thou pretendest to renounce ? To 
one man thou preachest to renounce wealth, to another thou 
sayest that he is under the influence of malignant stars, and 
therefore he ought to pay thee for deliverance therefrom. 
It is in the hope of cheating people thou wanderest from 
door to door. Thou recitest the Veds, the Shastars, and 
the Simritis, so that a double paisa may fall to thee from 
some one. Thou praisest him who givest thee anything 
and revilest him who refuseth. In this way thou hopest to 
obtain alms from all people. But thou reflectest not that 
praise and blame are every one's lot while alive, but affect 
not the dead. Thou canst not confer salvation on those 
who give thee alms, nor canst thou kill the son or father 
of him who giveth thee none. I only accept him as a 
Brahman who deemeth the givers and the refusers, praise 
and blame as the same. O Brahman, the man from whom 


thou extortest money, or whom thou pleasest with thy 
varied flatteries, shall at last go to hell in thy company. 

Brahmans, though they say they have abandoned the 
world, are lovers of wealth, and in quest of it go to die 
either in Banaras or Kumaun. Some through greed for 
money twist their matted hair round their heads. Others 
put on a wooden necklace and go forth shamelessly to the 
forest. Others again, taking tweezers, pluck out all the 
hair of their heads. The Brahmans practise hypocrisy in 
order to plunder the world, and they thus lose their happi- 
ness both here and hereafter. They make a clay lingam 
and worship it, but it hath no power for good or evil. Why 
do men who know that the lingam hath no light in it, light 
a lamp before it ? And why do very foolish and obstinate 
persons thinking it God fall down before it ? Thoughtless 
one, think of God and quickly cast away thy mind's 
indecision. They who have studied for a long time in 
Banaras go at last to die in Bhutan. Having acquired 
a little learning thou leavest thy home and wanderest 
from country to country. Thy father and mother thou 
hast left somewhere ; thy wife, thy son, and thy son's wife 
cannot find thee. No one hath passed beyond the goal of 
covetousness ; it hath beguiled all people. 

Thou shavest the heads of some, on others thou imposest 
fines, and on others again thou puttest wooden necklaces. 
To one thou teachest spoken, to another written, and to 
a third other forms of incantations, yet thou conferrest no 
abiding spiritual knowledge. Some thou showest how to 
argue on learned subjects, but to all thou settest an example 
of covetousness in thine efforts to obtain wealth to the best 
of thine ability. Thou showest no mercy and never pro- 
pitiatest God, O fool, but worshippest clay. It is on this 
account thou art doomed to wander begging. Think, 
thoughtless one, on Him who made men conscious ; why 
deemest thou Him unconscious ? Why call a stone God ? 
Why sellest thou thy precious soul under its value ? Thou 
knowest nothing, great simpleton, and yet thou callest 
thyself a superior pandit. Diest thou not of shame, O great 
boaster ? In thy pride thou forfeitest thine honour. Thou 


callest thyself a prophet and pretendest to know the future, 
but yet thou knowest not even the past. Thou thinkest 
thyself very handsome and able, and claimest to be con- 
tinent and physically strong. Thou say est that Shiv is 
certainly in the stone, but, O great fool, thou knowest 
nothing. O clever man, consider in what part of the stone 
Parbati's lord is. Say what spiritual perfection thou attain- 
est by bowing thy head to clay ? He whom the world 
cannot please will not be pleased by thy offerings of rice. 
Thou burnest incense, blowest shells, and rainest a shower 
of flowers. Thou growest weary in thine endeavours, but 
findest not God in a stone. To those who accept not thine 
incantations and spells thou recitest songs and verses. In 
broad daylight thou stealest wealth from men's houses. 
Thieves, pickpockets, and robbers seeing thy cleverness are 
ashamed of their ignorance. Thou payest no heed to the 
magistrate or the judge. Thou livest by cheating thy 

Rich people are like flowers, clever men like thee are the 
bumble-bees which, unmindful of their homes, continue to 
buzz over them. Every one is at last in Death's power, 
and yet men have departed without resigning the craving 
for wealth. There are no bounds to this desire. It is the 
only thing in this world that surviveth. 

You shave the heads of some, you send others to places 
of pilgrimages, and at the same time ask for all they possess. 
Those thou seest wealthy thou entanglest in the narrow 
door 1 and leviest a tax at so much per head on them. 
Thou then lettest them pass. It is thirst for money not 
love of God that actuateth Brahmans. 

1 In Gaya, Kamaksha, and other places of Hindu pilgrimage there 
is an aperture in a wall through which pilgrims are bidden to pass 
with the object of securing deliverance. When the pilgrim is a rich 
man, he is by some secret mechanism caught in the aperture and 
told that he cannot pass on account of his many sins and enormities. 
He is then obliged to vow to perform certain penances and make 
certain presents to the Brahmans. He is only allowed to pass through 
the aperture when the promised money has been paid down. — Thag 
Lila, p. 34. 


The Brahman 

Hear, O my daughter, thou understandest not. Thou 
thinkest that he whom we call Shiv is a stone. All people 
bow their heads to Brahmans, and apply to their foreheads 
the water in which they have washed their feet. The whole 
world worshippeth them, while thou, O foolish girl, slan- 
derest them. This salagram is the primal and ancient 
Brahm and is prized even by monarchs. 

The Princess 

Hear, 0 foolish Brahman, thou knowest nothing. Thou 
recognizest a stone as the Primal Light of the world. 
Thou thinkest it holdeth the Supreme Being. Thou hast 
taken leave of thy senses. Deceive me not, but take what 
thou desirest to take. Tell me not that a stone is God. 
While telling fools so, thou plunderest them to thy heart's 
content. Thou sendest men to rivers of pilgrimage to 
drown them in superstition. Thou makest unnumbered 
efforts to strip them of their wealth and not allow them to 
take a paisa home. Thou pretendest to find a number 
of inauspicious circumstances connected with a rich man, 
so that he may give thee feasts to bribe thee to intercede 
for him. When thou knowest that a man hath spent all his 
wealth, thou never lookest at him. Brahmans hover over 
money like ravens, and quarrel like kites over a fish or 
dogs over a bone. In public thou expoundest the Veds, 
but in thy heart is worship of money. Thou findest not 
God, thy money soon departeth, and vain is all thy service. 
Thou paradest thy learning, but knowest not how to unite 
men with God. Thou callest thyself wise and me a fool. 
What if thou, O idiot, eat not bhang, even still thou art 
not in thy senses. Everybody can see this for himself. 
Brave men taking bhang fight and draw elephant's teeth, 
and grasping the scimitar and lance fearlessly smite their 
enemies. Say, O tyrant, what couldst thou do even wert 
thou to take bhang ? Thou wouldst even then, if engaged 
in combat, fall on thy face like a corpse through fright. 


Hear, O Brahman, give instruction to fools, save me from 
thy lies, and preach thy falsehood to others. Why passest 
thou leather for metallic coin ? Thou shalt go to terrible 
hell, and be born again as a pariah. Hung up by the heels 
thou shalt be tortured in the house of Death. When thou 
and all thy relations are suffering, what answer wilt thou 
make ? Say what books wilt thou then read, and wilt 
thou then worship the lingam ? Wilt thou find Shiv and 
Krishan there where God will send thee bound ? Where 
thou hast no son, mother, father, or brother, will Ram 
come to thine assistance ? Ever bow thy head to the great 
God whom the fourteen worlds fear, whom all recognize as 
the Creator and Destroyer, who hath no form or outline, 
whose dwelling, appearance, and name are unknown. By 
what name shall I speak of Him since He cannot be spoken 
of ? He hath no father, mother, or brother, no son or 
grandson. Unlike Ram Chandar or Krishan He hath no 
male or female nurse. He needeth no army to give Him 
dignity. What He saith is true, and what He desireth He 
doeth. Some He regenerateth, and others He consigneth 
to perdition. He buildeth, fashioneth, createth, and again 
destroyeth. It is the great God I recognize as my Guru. 
I am His disciple and He is my priest. I am a girl made 
by Him. O Brahman, I worship the great God. A stone 
is not to my mind. I call a stone a stone. On this account 
people are displeased with me. I call what is false false — 
a matter which is disagreeable to all. I tell the truth, and 
pay no regard to any one. As for thee, O Brahman, art 
thou not ashamed of thy conduct ? Fix thy thoughts even 
for a brief period on God. 

The Brahman 

God will consider him a sinner who saith that this stone 
is other than God, and will cast into hell any one who 
useth profane language regarding it. It is the primal and 
ancient God. 

The Princess 

I only worship the one great God. I regard not Shiv. 
Nor do I worship either Brahma or Vishnu. I fear not 


your gods. Know that whoever invoketh them is already 
dead, but death will not approach him who meditateth on 
the Deathless One. He who meditateth on the Deathless 
One and even once invoketh His name, shall obtain wealth 
and perfection in every act. He who meditateth on the 
immortal God shall never suffer, but enjoy great happiness 
in the world. When death tortureth thee, O Brahman, 
what book wilt thou then read ? Will it be the Bhagavat 1 
or the Gita ? Wilt thou hold on to Ram or clutch at 
Krishan for protection ? The gods whom thou deemest 
supreme have all been destroyed by Death's mace. None' — 
not even Brahma, Vishnu, or Indar — may escape it. The 
gods were born as the demons were, and both are subject 
to transmigration. The Hindus and the Turks are the 
same, and death is potent over them all. Sometimes the 
demons killed the gods, and sometimes the gods the demons. 
The Being who destroyed both gods and demons is He who 
cherisheth me, and whom I have taken as my Guru. I bow 
to Him whose sovereignty is recognized in the fourteen 
worlds, who destroyed Indar, Vishnu, the sun, the moon, 2 
Kuver, Varun, and Sheshnag. 

The Brahman 

Shiv removeth all the sins of him who worshippeth this 
stone. He who forsaketh this god and worshippeth another 
shall fall into hell. He who giveth money to a Brahman 
shall obtain tenfold in the next world. He who giveth to 
other than a Brahman shall derive no advantage therefrom. 

The Poet 

Upon this the princess took the lingam in her hand, 
struck the Brahman with it, and smashed all his teeth. 
She then took away all the Brahman's property. 

The Princess 

Say now, O Brahman, whither hath gone thy Shiv ? He 
whom thou hast ever served hath broken thy teeth. The 

1 One of the eighteen Purans. 

2 The Sikhs believe in the different creations and destructions of the 


idol which thou hast spent thy life in invoking, hath at last 
entered thy mouth. 

The Poet 

All the property the Princess took from the Brahman she 
distributed among other Brahmans and then said to her 
antagonist, ' Never mind, thou shalt receive tenfold in the 
next world.' 1 

The Princess 

Thou sayest to others, ' Bestow your wealth or spend 
it ' — thou who art so miserly that thou puttest not turmeric 
into the dal thou eatest. Thou art very deceitful and goest 
about for the purpose of deceit. Thou publicly plunderest 
people in the market-place. Thou spendest not a kauri 
and art ever begging. Calling girls thy daughters thou 
deflourest them. Thy mother was greed, thy father 
avarice, and thou art the incarnation of meanness. While 
practising greed thou boastest of thy prodigality, so that, 
people may think thee a monarch. Thou art utterly worth- 
less. If any one knew the incantations thou pretendest to 
know he would not have to beg from door to door. By 
repeating even once such an incantation as thou boastest of, 
thou mightest fill thy house with wealth. Ram and Krishan 
of whom thou speakest, and those whom thou worshippest 
as Shiv and Brahma, were all destroyed by Death. In due 
time God will again give them birth. How many Ram 
Chandars and Krishans ! How many Brahmas, Shivs, and 
Vishnus ! The sun and moon — what are these poor wretches ? 
Simply water-carriers at God's door. They were created in 
due time and Death shall destroy them all. The Vishnu who 
was cursed by Jalandhar's wife 2 and became a stone, thou 
callest a great god. Art thou not ashamed of thyself ? 

1 The princess is here casting up the Brahman's words to him. 

2 The legend is as follows: — Jalandhar was destroying the gods 
and none could withstand him as he had a virtuous wife. It was 
proposed to Vishnu to tempt her, and he accordingly simulated 
Jalandhar and approached her. Recognizing Vishnu by a particular 
mark on his side, the result of a kick given him by Bhrigu, a Rikhi, 
she cursed him, and he became the salagram stone. Vishnu in turn 


The Brahman 

I will go to the Raja thy father and have thee imprisoned. 
The Princess 

I will tell him a different story, and have both thy hands 
cut off. Then shall I be really the king's daughter. 

The Brahman 

I will promise to do what thou tellest me provided thou 
dismiss thy wrath. 

The Princess 

Worship not stones, fall at the feet of the great God. 

The Poet 

Then the Brahman fell at the feet of the great God, and 
threw his idols into the river. 

Bhai Nand Lai, 1 who was a famous Sikh of Guru 
Gobind Rai, and wrote several works in the Persian 
language on the Sikh religion, thus delivered him- 
self in his Jot Bikas : ' Thousands of Brahmas 
praise Guru Nanak, for his glory exceedeth that of 
them all. Thousands of Shivs and Indars place 
themselves at his feet, for his throne is more exalted 
than theirs. Thousands of Vishnus, many Rams 
and Krishans, thousands of Durgas and Gorakhs 
sacrifice themselves at his feet.' Bhai Nand Lai 
further on writes that as Guru Nanak, so were all the 
Gurus his successors, including Guru Gobind Rai. 
It is therefore inferred that, so far from Guru Gobind 
Rai worshipping or doing homage to the goddess 
Durga, she was an insignificant entity who did 
homage to him. 

cursed her, and she became the tulsi plant, and grew where the 
salagram fell. 

1 An account of Bhai Nand Lai will subsequently be given. 


Chapter X 

What is called the Granth of the tenth Guru is 
only partially his composition. The greater portion 
of it was written by bards in his employ. The two 
works entitled Chandi Charitar and the Bhagauti ki 
War found in it are abridged translations by dif- 
ferent hands 1 of the Durga Sapt Shati, or seven 
hundred sloks on the subject of Durga, an episode in 
the ' Markandeya Puran ' on the contests of the 
goddess Durga with the demons who had made war 
on the gods. 

Chandi Charitar 1 2 

The poet in the Guru's employ, who translated 
this, states that he did it for amusement, but adds : 
' The man who heareth or readeth this for any object 
shall assuredly obtain it.' This line is an abstract 
of the eleventh and twelfth sloks of the ninety-second 
canto of the original. The translator then darkly 
refers to a special object of his own. ' I have trans- 
lated the book called the Durga Sapt Shati, the equal 
of which there is none. O Chandi, grant the object 
with which the poet has translated.' The translator's 
object, however, is not stated. Whether he imbibed 
some of the principles of Sikhism or not from the 
Guru cannot be ascertained, but it is clear that he 
was largely tinctured with Hinduism. 

Chandi Charitar II 
At the end of this translation is found the couplet : — 
The saints who continually meditate on thee, O Chandi, 
Shall at last obtain salvation and find God as their reward. 

1 Any one even moderately acquainted with Hindi can tell from 
the internal evidence of style that these translations have been done 
by different persons. 

2 European readers not familiar with Indian words, and not in- 
terested in the Hindi translations of the Durga Sapt Shati (Devi 
Mahatamya) or their object, may omit the remainder of this chapter. 


This is not in the original Sanskrit, but the general 
sense may be inferred by a believer in Chandi from 
her own self-glorification in the ninety-second canto. 

The first Chandi Charitar begins as follows : Ek 
oamkar, Sri Wahguru ji kifatah. Ath Chandi Charitar 
ukt bilas — Now the tale (bilas) of the deeds of Chandi 
will be told (ukt). The second Chandi Charitar 
begins in the same way but without the words ukt 
bilas. The Bhagauti ki War begins as follows : 
Ek oamkar Sri Wahguru ji ki fatah ! Sri Bhagauti ji 
sahai ! War Sri Bhagauti ji ki Patshahi das — There 
is one God. Victory to the holy Wahguru ! We 
implore the favour of the holy Bhagauti (Sword) ! The 
paean of the holy Bhagauti of the tenth Guru. 
It thus appears that the Bhagauti ki War was written 
by the tenth Guru himself. 

The Hindus maintain that in the tenth Guru's 
writings the word Bhagauti means Durga. In the 
two Chandi Charitars the word Bhagauti does not 
occur at all, and even in the Bhagauti ki War it is 
only found three times — once in the title of the 
composition, a second time in the first line, and 
a third time elsewhere. In the latter instance, Lai 
Bhagauti Durg shah, it is clear that the word 
Bhagauti means a sword — ' The goddess Durga took 
up the sword.' This is also attested by Gur Das. 
In the sixth pauri of his twenty-fifth War he refers 
to the manner in which the signification of words is 
often altered, and writes — Nam bhagauti loh gharaya 
— Man hath fashioned what is called the sword 
(bhagauti) from iron. 

In further proof that Bhagauti does not mean 
Durga in the Sikh scriptures the following line 
in the Ad Granth is cited — Bhagauti mudra man 
mohiya maya, the translation of which is — Men 
wear God's marks while their minds are fascinated 
with mammon. 

The following are the first two pauris of the ' War 
Sri Bhagauti ji ki.' 



Having first remembered the Sword, meditate on Guru 

Then on Guru Angad, Amar Das, and Ram Das ; may 
they assist me ! 

Remember Arjan, Har Gobind, and the holy Hari Rai ; 

Meditate on the holy Hari Krishan, a sight of whom dis- 
pelled all sorrows. 

Remember Teg Bahadur and the nine treasures shall come 
hastening to your homes. 

Ye holy Gurus, everywhere assist us ! 

God having first fashioned the Sword created the whole 

He created Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiv, and made them 
the sport of His omnipotence ; 

He made the seas and mountains of the earth, and sup- 
ported the firmament without pillars ; 

He made the demons and the demigods, and excited 
dissension among them. 

Having created Durga, O God, Thou didst destroy the 
demons. 1 

From Thee alone Ram received his power, and slew 
Rawan with his arrows. 

From Thee alone Krishan received his power, seized Kans 
by the hair, and dashed him on the ground. 

Very great munis and gods mortified their bodies for many 

But none of them found Thy limit. 
The last line of the Bhagauti ki War is : — 
He who sang this was not born again, that is, he obtained 

This line gives the meaning of the twenty-second 
slok of the ninety-second canto of the ' Markandeya 
Puran '. 

The train of thought by which the Guru made 

1 This line shows that the Guru believed Durga to be a creation 
of God and not an independent divinity co-equal or co-powerful 
with Him and worthy of human worship. 


God and the sword one was as follows : In the 
' Shastar Nam Mala ' is read : — 

I first mention the word shatru (an enemy) and then the 
word daman (subduer). 

Know that the words compounded mean the Lord of the 
world : be assured of this. 

The meaning is — God subdues enemies, so does 
the sword ; therefore the sword is God, and God is 
the sword. 

At that time it was the custom to recite on the 
eve of battle the praises and warlike deeds of the 
brave, so that the hearts even of cowards might be 
inspired with eagerness for the fray. On that 
account the tenth Guru maintained fifty-two bards 
to translate the Mahabharat, the Ramayan, and 
the gallant achievements of Ram, Krishan, Chandi, 
and others. It does not follow from this that the 
Guru worshipped those whose acts were thus cele- 
brated ; this was only done for the purpose of 
inciting to bravery, dispelling cowardice, and filling 
the hearts of his troops with valour to defend their 
faith. This the Guru himself declares in his transla- 
tion of the tenth canto of the Bhagawat, in which 
are recounted the chivalrous exploits of Krishan. 
He says, ' I have rendered in the vulgar dialect the 
tenth chapter of the Bhagawat with no other object 
than to inspire ardour for religious warfare.' 

Secondly, the Guru himself specially translated 
the praises of Chandi so that they might be chanted 
for warlike purposes, and that even cowards on 
hearing her story might obtain courage and the 
hearts of the brave beat with fourfold enthusiasm. 
Such being the achievements of a woman, what 
ought not a brave man to accomplish ? The Guru 
maintained that if a man became a coward and 
turned away from the battle-field, he would not only 
become ashamed of himself, but also forfeit his 
advantages here and hereafter. 

G 2 


In the third place, the Guru desired that his Sikhs, 
on becoming acquainted with the Hindu sacred 
writings, might be able to form their own estimate 
of them and their inferiority to the compositions of 
the Gurus. Among the fifty-two bards employed by 
the Guru there must have been several who had 
suffered for their religion under the persecutions of 
Aurangzeb ; and for their opinions the Guru cannot 
be held responsible. 1 

Chapter XI 

The Guru directed all the masands to appear with 
their Sikh constituents before him at Anandpur at 
the Baisakhi festival, held about the middle of 
the month of April. They collected large sums of 
money as a preparation for their journey. Half they 
kept for their own use, and half they placed before 
the Guru. The Guru then addressed them, ' O 
brother masands, you have been the servants of the 
Guru's house since the time of Guru Ram Das. 
You used formerly to collect large sums of money. 
Why have you brought so little this year for the 
support of the faith ? ' The masands replied, ' O true 
Guru, the rich Sikhs are all dead, and we must take 
what we can obtain from the survivors.' The Guru 
rejoined, 'Say not that my Sikhs are poor. I am 
going to make them all kings. If you desire your 
welfare, disgorge the offerings you have received 
from them.' The masands became angry, and began 
to say among themselves, ' The Guru is of our own 
making. Did we not contribute the money necessary 
for his maintenance, no one would call him a Guru.' 

The masands left the Guru's court and went to 
complain to Bhai Chetu, the eldest member of their 
body who had survived since the days of Guru Ram 
Das. They represented to him that no Guru had 
previously found fault with them, but now Guru 
1 Bhai Dit Singh's Durga Prabodh. 


Gobind Rai had threatened them with serious conse- 
quences. Chetu promised to speak to the Guru on 
their behalf, but at the same time reminded them 
that he was at the youthful age when men utter 
praise and blame without due discrimination. 

Chetu kept his promise and spoke to the Guru on 
behalf of the masands, ' True king, the masands are 
all thy servants. I beg thee to treat them with 
respect, so that the Sikhs may follow thy example. 
The next time they come they will bring a larger 
amount of money for the supply of thy public 
kitchen.' The Guru replied, ' Ask their brother 
Sikhs here what language the masands have been 
using regarding me. They have stolen the Guru's 
money and deposited it in their own homes. They 
are very proud. They admit not the Guru's power. 
They have called my Sikhs poor, whereas I am daily 
advancing them and bestowing on them the sove- 
reignty of the country. And, finally, the masands 
are telling me falsehoods.' Chetu begged the Guru 
to pardon them. The Guru then said that Chetu 
had countenanced them in embezzling the offerings, 
and that he too deserved punishment like his fellows. 
At this Chetu began to storm and pretend innocence. 
The Guru was now thoroughly satisfied that the 
masands had arrived at a pass where they did not 
believe in any Guru, and that their insolence must 
be checked. He therefore decided that, as the human 
Guruship must end with himself, so must his Sikhs 
be freed from the tyranny of the masands. 

Chetu went to the Guru's mother, and threatened 
that if the Guru disowned the masands, the Sikhs 
would go in a body to Dhir Mai, and the Guru 
would be left without any means of support. 
When the Guru heard this, he said, ' Be not anxious, 
O mother, my public kitchen belongeth to the im- 
mortal God, and He will supply it with provisions.' 

It happened that at that time a man arrived at 
Anandpur from Chetu's district. He had given 


Chetu a set of bracelets made of rhinoceros hide 
as a present for the Guru's mother. When Chetu 
was questioned, he said he had duly given her the 
bracelets, but it was satisfactorily proved that he 
had not, and that he had been prevailed on by his 
wife to bestow them on her. Chetu was duly pun- 
ished for his dishonesty. 

The Guru continued to receive many complaints 
against the masands. One of them in particular 
billeted himself on a poor Sikh, and claimed sweets 
instead of the crushed pulse and unleavened bread 
which formed the staple food of his host. The 
masand took the bread, threw it into his host's face, 
and dashed the crushed pulse on the ground. He 
then began to abuse the Sikh, and would not cease 
until the poor man had sold his wife's petticoat to 
provide him with sweets. When the Guru was 
informed of this he set about punishing the masand. 
He ordered that henceforth the Sikhs should them- 
selves present their offerings, and that the employ- 
ment of the masands for the purpose should cease. 

One day a company of mimes went to perform 
before the Guru. He ordered them to imitate the 
masands. One of them accordingly dressed as 
a masand, two as a masand' s servants, and a fourth 
as a masand's courtesan riding behind him on horse- 
back as he went to collect offerings for the Guru. 
The mimes portrayed to life the villanies and oppres- 
sion practised by the masands. The Guru upon this 
finally resolved to free his Sikhs from their tyranny. 
He ordered that all the masands should be arraigned 
for their misdemeanours. He listened in every case 
to their defences and explanations, punished those 
whom he found guilty, and pardoned those who 
succeeded in establishing their innocence. Among 
the latter was a masand called Pheru, of whom 
mention has been made in the life of Guru Har Rai. 
Pheru lived in the country then called Nakka, 
between the rivers Ravi and Bias. The Guru ordered 


that he should be brought before him. The Guru 
remembered an expression used by Guru Har Rai 
to Pheru, ' My purse is at thy disposal. Spend what 
thou pleasest from it.' Guru Gobind Rai added, 
' The purse is thine, and its disposal is also thine.' 
Pheru replied, ' Great king, thine is the purse and 
thine also its disposal : whether I am bad or good 
I am thine.' The Guru knowing him to be without 
guile acquitted him, and with his own hands invested 
him with a robe of honour. Some other masands 
too were acquitted as the result of Pheru' s pleadings 
on their behalf. 

Once a company of Udasis brought the Guru 
a copy of the Granth Sahib, written with great 
elegance, for his attestation and signature. At that 
time no Granth was accepted as correct unless 
countersigned by the Guru. But petitioners had 
first to approach his minister, Diwan Nand Chand, 
and submit the work to him for approval. The 
latter observing the beautiful penmanship of the 
volume formed the dishonest intention of appro- 
priating it. He told the Udasis to come in a month's 
time, and he would meanwhile find some means 
of obtaining the Guru's signature. When they 
returned after the expiration of that period, he told 
them he had not yet had an opportunity of speaking 
to the Guru on the subject, and suggested their 
waiting for another ten days. By similar subter- 
fuges he kept the Udasis going backwards and for- 
wards in suspense for six months. At the end of 
that time he asked them to take the price of 
the Granth Sahib from him, and prepare another 
for the Guru's approval. The Udasis refused; 
whereupon he had them forcibly expelled from 

One day, when the Guru went hunting, the Udasis 
found an opportunity of complaining to him of 
Nand Chand's conduct. The Guru at once ordered 
that their Granth should be restored to them. Nand 


Chand sent a message to the Guru that he was ready 
to return the book, but at the same time told the 
Udasis to leave the place at once if they valued 
their safety. If they made any further complaint 
to the Guru, they should be imprisoned and put to 
death. The Udasis were, however, not so easily 
deterred. They bided their time to approach 
the Guru on another occasion. They com- 
plained that Nand Chand had disobeyed his 
order, forcibly expelled them from the city, and 
threatened them with death in the event of their 
return and making a further complaint against him. 
The Guru sent a severe message to Nand Chand, 
' Evil days have come for thee. As I treated the 
masands so shall I treat thee. If thou desire thine 
own welfare, restore their Granth Sahib to the 
Udasis.' When the Guru's message was communi- 
cated to Nand Chand, he said, ' Go away ; I will 
not return the Granth Sahib. See, my friends, how 
the Guru seeketh to frighten me. Were I to shake 
the dust off the skirt of my coat, I could make many 
Gurus like him.' The Sikhs replied, ' Very well ; 
let the Guru come to thee, and thou shalt see. He 
will draw no distinction between thee and thy 
brother masands.' 

Nand Chand, shrinking from the consequences of 
his temerity, fled with the Granth Sahib to Kartar- 
pur. When the Guru heard that he had fled through 
fear of death, he replied, ' Death will reach him 
there too.' When Nand Chand reached Kartarpur, 
he sent a message to Dhir Mai, ' Hundreds of thou- 
sands of Sikhs adhere to thy cause ; they will all 
worship thee, and make thee the Guru of the world. 
It is in my power to-day to raise thee to that emi- 
nence.' Nand Chand was, however, seriously dis- 
trusted at Kartarpur. It was suspected that he had 
come from the Guru to practise some treachery — 
either to kill Dhir Mai or take possession of the town. 
Dhir Mai consulted his masands as to what was best 


to be done. They advised that Nand Chand should 
be put to death according to the following strata- 
gem. As he came to pay a visit, a musketeer 
should be hidden within the house to fire at him. 
This was agreed on. When Nand Chand entered 
Dhir Mai's anteroom, he received a bullet in the 
thigh. As he staggered, the doors were closed to 
prevent his escape, and he then received several 
fatal bullets from the roof which had been opened 
for the purpose. 

One day the Guru saw two horsemen pass his 
place and then make a diversion towards the Satluj . 
They were Gurdas and his brother Tara, great-grand- 
sons of Bhai Bahilo and masands of Ram Rai, who 
had come to seek the Guru's protection, but whose 
courage failed them at the last moment. The Guru 
caused them to be brought before him. In reply 
to his messenger's questions they had said that they 
were Bairars. When they appeared before the Guru, 
he detected their disguise and asked why they had 
falsely represented themselves as Bairars. They told 
their history. The Guru on his visit on a former 
occasion to Dehra, believing them to be trustworthy, 
allowed them to remain there with Panjab Kaur, 
Ram Rai's widow, for her protection. The other 
masands had poisoned Panjab Kaur's mind against 
them, and they now fled to the Guru for protection. 
On arriving at Anandpur they had heard of the 
Guru's treatment of other masands, and through 
fear turned aside to avoid him. The Guru compli- 
mented them as the descendants of Bhai Bahilo on 
their finally confessing the truth to him, and men- 
tioned the respect in which Bhai Bahilo had been 
held by the preceding Gurus. After their repentance 
the Guru entertained them for some years, and then 
allowed them to depart to their homes. 

The Guru always held the belief that it would be 
proper and advantageous to his Sikhs to wear long 
hair and otherwise not alter man's God-given body, 


and he often broached the subject to them. On one 
occasion they replied that, if they wore long hair, 
they would be subjected to the banter and annoyance 
of both Hindus and Muhammadans. The Guru then 
suggested that they should wear arms, and be at 
all times ready to defend themselves. This advice 
was adopted. 

In ancient times the Guru said it was the universal 
custom to wear one's natural hair, and he instanced 
the cases of Ram Chandar, Krishan, Christ, and Mu- 
hammad. ' Why should hair grow if God had meant 
it to be cut off ? A child's hair groweth in the 
womb.' 1 The Guru therefore hoped that his followers 
would never be guilty of the sin of shaving or cutting 
off their hair, and those who obeyed his injunctions 
he promised to consider true members of his faith. 

It is recorded that at this time the Sikhs lived in 
great social love and harmony. They regarded 
themselves as brothers. They used to feed one 
another, shampoo one another when tired, bathe 
one another, wash one another's clothes, and one 
Sikh always met another with a smile on his face 
and love in his heart. 

A company of Sikhs came to visit the Guru and 
made the following representation : ' We have found 
it very difficult to approach thee on account of the 
violence of the Muhammadans. Some of our com- 
pany have been killed by them on the way. Others 
have been wounded, and have returned to their 

1 Several texts from Hindu writings are cited on the importance 
and sanctity of hair. Thus in the Institutes of Manu — Even 
should a man be in wrath, let him never seize another by the hair. 
When a Brahman commits an offence for which the members of other 
castes are liable to death, let his hair be shaved off as sufficient punish- 
ment.' In the Mahdbharat it is stated that when Arjan was, according 
to the laws of warfare, on the point of killing Aswatthama for murdering 
the children of the Pandavs, he appeased his wrath by merely cutting 
off Aswatthama's hair. And when Krishan defeated Rukmin, who 
had resented the abduction of his sister Rukmin i, he merely cut off his 
hair — a punishment deemed worse than death itself. 


homes. To whom can we look for assistance but to 
thee ? ' The Guru on hearing this remained silent, and 
reflected that the tyranny of the Turks had certainly 
become intolerable, and that all religion was being 
banished from the land. 

The Guru invited all his Sikhs to attend the great 
Baisakhi fair at Anandpur without shaving or cutting 
their hair. On finding them assembled, he ordered 
that carpets should be spread on a raised mound 
which he indicated, and that an adjacent spot should 
be screened off with qanats or tent walls. When 
this was done, the Guru ordered a confidential Sikh 
to go at midnight, tie five goats in the enclosure, 
and let no one know what he had done. The goats 
were duly tied, and separate orders were given to 
the Guru's orderlies not to go within the tent walls. 

Next morning the Guru rose a watch before day; 
performed his devotions, and put on his arms and 
uniform. He then proclaimed that there should be 
a great open-air gathering. When all were seated 
he drew his sword, and asked if there was any one 
of his beloved Sikhs ready to lay down his life for 
him. No reply was given. All grew pale on hearing 
such a proposal. The Guru asked a second time, 
but with the same result. A third time he spoke 
in a louder voice, ' If there be any true Sikh of mine, 
let him give me his head as an offering and proof of 
his faith.' Daya Ram, a Sikh of Lahore, rose and 
said, ' O true king, my head is at thy service.' The 
Guru took his arm, led him within the enclosure, 
and gave him a seat. He then cut off a goat's 
head with one stroke of the sword, went forth and 
showed the dripping weapon to the multitude. The 
Guru again asked, ' Is there any other true Sikh 
who will bestow his head on me ? ' The crowd felt 
now quite convinced that the Guru was in earnest, 
and that he had killed Daya Ram, so no one replied. 
At the third time of asking Dharm Das of Dihli 
answered, ' O great king, take my head.' The Guru, 


assuming an angry mien, took Dharm Das within 
the enclosure, seated him near Daya Ram, and 
killed another goat. The Guru then looking very 
fierce came forth and said, ' Is there any other Sikh 
who will offer me his head ? I am in great need of 
Sikhs' heads.' 

On this some remarked that the Guru had lost his 
reason, others went to the Guru's mother to com- 
plain, and said that he had undergone a complete 
change, and was no longer responsible for his actions. 
They instanced his sacrificing two Sikhs with ap- 
parently no object. His mother was advised to 
depose him and confer the Guruship on his eldest 
son. She sent a messenger for him, but he was too 
intent on his own purpose at the time to receive 
messengers of any description. He called out for 
a third Sikh ready to offer him his life, whereupon 
Muhakam Chand of Dwaraka offered himself as 
a sacrifice. Upon this the Guru handed him into 
the enclosure and killed a third goat. He then 
came forth showing his dripping sword as before. 
When the Guru called out for a fourth Sikh for 
sacrifice, the Sikhs began to think that he was going 
to kill them all. Some ran away and many hung 
down their heads. Sahib Chand, a resident of Bidar, 
clasped his hands in an attitude of supplication, and 
said he placed his head at the Guru's disposal. The 
Guru took him behind the tent walls and killed 
a fourth goat. When he came forth as before, 
he asked for a fifth Sikh who was prepared to lay 
down his life for him. On this there was a general 
flight of the remaining Sikhs, and only those who 
were very staunch in their faith ventured to stay. 
Himmat of Jaggannath answered the Guru's last 
call, and said he might take his life also. The Guru 
then took him inside the enclosure and killed the 
remaining goat. 

The Guru was now ready to sacrifice his own life 
for the five Sikhs who showed such devotion to him. 


He clad them in splendid raiment, so that they 
shone like the sun, and thus addressed them : ' My 
brethren, you are in my form and I am in yours. 
He who thinketh there is any difference between us 
erreth exceedingly.' Then seating the five Sikhs 
near him, he proclaimed to the whole assembly, 
' In the time of Guru Nanak, there was found one 
devout Sikh, namely, Guru Angad. In my time 
there are found five Sikhs totally devoted to the 
Guru. These shall lay anew the foundation of 
Sikhism, and the true religion shall become current 
and famous through the world.' The people became 
astonished at the Guru's expedient, and fell at the 
feet of the five devoted Sikhs, saying, ' Hail to the 
Sikh religion ! You, brethren, have established it 
on a permanent basis. Had we offered our heads 
like you, we too should be blest.' 

The Guru again addressed his Sikhs : ' Since the 
time of Baba Nanak charanpahul hath been cus- 
tomary. Men drank the water in which the Gurus 
had washed their feet, a custom which led to great 
humility ; but the Khalsa can now only be main- 
tained as a nation by bravery and skill in arms. 
Therefore I now institute the custom of baptism by 
water stirred with a dagger, and change my followers 
from Sikhs to Singhs or lions. They who accept the 
nectar of the pahul shall be changed before your 
very eyes from jackals into lions, and shall obtain 
empire in this world and bliss hereafter.' 

According to the Persian historian Ghulam Muhai 
ul Din, the newswriter of the period sent the Emperor 
a copy of the Guru's address to his Sikhs on that 
occasion. It is dated the first of Baisakh, Sambat 
1756 (a. d. 1699), and is as follows : ' Let all embrace 
one creed and obliterate differences of religion. Let 
the four Hindu castes who have different rules for 
their guidance abandon them all, adopt the one 
form of adoration, and become brothers. Let no 
one deem himself superior to another. Let none 


pay heed to the Ganges, and other places of pil- 
grimage which are spoken of with reverence in the 
Shastars, or adore incarnations such as Ram, Krishan, 
Brahma, and Durga, but believe in Guru Nanak and 
the other Sikh Gurus. Let men of the four castes 
receive my baptism, eat out of one dish, and feel 
no disgust or contempt for one another.' 

The newswriter, when forwarding this proclamation 
to his master, submitted his own report : ' When the 
Guru had thus addressed the crowd, several Brah- 
mans and Khatris stood up, and said that they 
accepted the religion of Guru Nanak and of the other 
Gurus. Others, on the contrary, said that they 
would never accept any religion which was opposed 
to the teaching of the Veds and the Shastars, and 
that they would not renounce at the bidding of a boy 
the ancient faith which had descended to them from 
their ancestors. Thus, though several refused to 
accept the Guru's religion, about twenty thousand 
men stood up and promised to obey him, as they had 
the fullest faith in his divine mission.' 

The Guru caused his five faithful Sikhs to stand 
up. He put pure water into an iron vessel and 
stirred it with a khanda or two-edged sword. He 
then repeated over it the sacred verses which he had 
appointed for the ceremony, namely, the Japji, the 
Japji, 1 Guru Amar Das's Anand, and certain Sawai- 
yas or quatrains of his own composition. 

The Guru in order to show his Sikhs the potency 
of the baptismal nectar which he had prepared put 
some of it aside for birds to drink. Upon this two 
sparrows came and filled their beaks with it. Then 
flying away they began to fight, the chronicler 
states, like two rajas struggling for supremacy, and 
died by mutual slaughter. The inference was that 
all animals which drank the Guru's baptismal water 
should become powerful and warlike. 

1 The Japji is Guru Nanak's, the Japji the tenth Guru's own 


Bhai Ram Kaur, a descendant of Bhai Budha, 
went and told the Guru's wife, Mata Jito, that he was 
inaugurating a new form of baptism. He also gave 
her an account of the incident of the sparrows. 
Mata Jito, taking some Indian sweetmeats called 
patasha, went out of curiosity to the Guru. He 
said she had come at an opportune moment, and 
asked her to throw the sweets into the holy water. 
He had begun, he said, to beget the Khalsa 1 as his 
sons, and without a woman no son could be produced. 
Now that the sweets were poured into the nectar 
the Sikhs would be at peace with one another, 
otherwise they would be at continual variance. 

The five Sikhs, fully dressed and accoutred, stood 
up before the Guru. He told them to repeat 
'Wahguru' and the preamble of the Japji. He then 
gave them five palmfuls of the amrit 2 to drink. He 
sprinkled it five times on their hair, and their eyes, 
and caused them all to repeat ' Wahguru ji ka 
Khalsa, Wahguru ji ki Fatah.' On this he gave 
them all the appellation of Singhs or lions. He then 
explained to them what they might and what they 
might not do. They must always wear the following 
articles whose names begin with a K, namely, kes, 
long hair ; kangha, a comb ; kripan, a sword ; 
kachh, short drawers ; kara, a steel bracelet. They 
were enjoined to practise arms, and not show their 
backs to the foe in battle. They were ever to help 
the poor and protect those who sought their protec- 
tion. They must not look with lust on another's 
wife or commit fornication, but adhere to their 
wedded spouses. They were to consider their 
previous castes erased, and deem themselves all 
brothers of one family. Sikhs were freely to inter- 
marry among one another, but must have no social 

1 This word comes from the Arabic khah's pure, and was applied 
by Guru Gobind Singh to the Sikhs who accepted the baptism of the 
sword, which will presently be described. 

2 Nectar. The consecrated water used in the baptism of Sikhs is 
so called. 


or matrimonial relations with smokers, with persons 
who killed their daughters, with the descendants or 
followers of Prithi Chand, Dhir Mai, Ram Rai, or 
masands, who had fallen away from the tenets and 
principles of Guru Nanak. They must not worship 
idols, cemeteries, or cremation-grounds. They must 
only believe in the immortal God. They must rise 
at dawn, bathe, read the prescribed hymns of the 
Gurus, meditate on the Creator, abstain from the 
flesh of an animal whose throat had been jagged 
with a knife in the Muhammadan fashion, and be 
loyal to their masters. 1 

When the Guru had thus administered baptism to 
his five tried Sikhs, he stood up before them with 
clasped hands, and begged them to administer bap- 
tism to himself in precisely the same way as he had 
administered it to them. They were astonished at 
such a proposal, and represented their own un- 
worthiness and the greatness of the Guru, whom 
they deemed God's vicar upon earth. They asked 
why he made such a request, and why he stood 
in a suppliant posture before them. He replied, 
' I am the son of the immortal God. It is by His 
order I have been born and have established this 
form of baptism. They who accept it shall hence- 
forth be known as the Khalsa. The Khalsa is the 
Guru and the Guru is the Khalsa. There is no 
difference between you and me. As Guru Nanak 
seated Guru Angad on the throne, so have I made 
you also a Guru. Wherefore administer the bap- 
tismal nectar to me without any hesitation.' Accord- 
ingly the five Sikhs baptized the Guru with the 
same ceremonies and injunctions he himself had 
employed. He thus invested his sect with the 
dignity of Gurudom. The Guru called the five Sikhs 
who had baptized him his Panch Piyare, or five 

1 In the present day an injunction is added at the time of baptism 
to be loyal to the British Government, which the neophytes solemnly 


beloved, and himself Gobind Singh, instead of Gobind 
Rai, the name by which he had been previously 

Upon this many others prepared to receive bap- 
tism. The first five to do so after the beloved of the 
Guru were Ram Singh, Deva Singh, Tahil Singh, 
Ishar Singh, and Fatah Singh. These were named 
the Panch Mukte, or the five who had obtained 
deliverance. After them many thousands were 
baptized. A supplementary ordinance was now 
issued that if any one cut his hair, smoked tobacco, 
associated with a Muhammadan woman, or ate the 
flesh of an animal whose throat had been jagged 
with a knife, he must be re-baptized, pay a fine, and 
promise not to offend any more : otherwise he must 
be held to be excommunicated from the Khalsa. 
The place where the Guru administered his first 
baptism is now known as Kesgarh. 

The Sikh chronicler, Bhai Santokh Singh, has 
composed the following on this memorable event : — 

God's Khalsa which arose is very holy. When its followers 
meet, they say ' Wahguru ji ki fatah ! ' 

The Khalsa hath abolished regard for pirs, spiritual 
rulers, and miracle-workers of other sects, whether Hindu 
or Musalman. 

The world on seeing a third religion was astonished ; 
enemies apprehended that it would deprive them of sove- 

The Guru inaugurated a new custom for the establish- 
ment of the faith, the effacement of sin, and the repetition 
of God's name. 

Chapter XII 

We now come to further objections made by the 
Hindus to the Khalsa. They said, ' It is impossible 
to observe the rules of the Khalsa. How can the 
four castes dine together ? Were we to accept the 
Guru's words, there would be no trace of caste left 

SIKH. v H 


in the world. The Guru hath confounded the four 
castes. He hath stirred water with a dagger and 
called it nectar. No matter who cometh to him, 
he associateth with him without distinction of caste 
and without regard for the duty prescribed for his 
stage of life. He hath renounced the Veds and the 
popular beliefs, and only believeth in Asidhuj, 1 of 
whom we have never before heard, and who is not 
known even to pandits. The learned men among 
the Hindus preach of Ram, Krishan, and the other 
incarnations recorded in the Purans, and adhere to 
the ancient religions. Brethren, this Khalsa is 
a new-fangled institution for which we have no 
scriptural authority. It is the Guru who hath 
introduced this absurdity, and informed the world 
that there is only one caste. He hath broken the 
sacrificial thread of Brahmans and Khatris, and by 
causing them to eat together hath brought discredit 
on ancient customs sanctioned and hallowed by 
religion. He hath ordered us not to give our daugh- 
ters in marriage to any one who cutteth his hair. 
So smitten is he with affection for his Khalsa, that 
he hath rejected not only the Hindu but the Muham- 
madan religion. He hath prohibited tobacco, pil- 
grimages, and periodical oblations to the manes of 
ancestors.' 2 

The Guru wrote to his Sikhs wherever they resided 
to come and accept baptism, and become members 
of the Khalsa. He warned those who failed to do 
so that they should afterwards regret it. When they 
met with affliction, they would be glad to seek the 
protection of the Khalsa, but this could only be 
obtained by their acceptance of baptism and by 
their repentance and submission. The holy Khalsa 
would then remove their entanglements and accept 
them as brothers in the faith. 

1 A name of God. He who hath the sword on his banner — an 
epithet invented by the tenth Guru. 

2 Gur Bilas, Chapter iz. 


On this great occasion the hill chiefs, including 
Raja Ajmer Chand, the successor of the late Bhim 
Chand, went to visit the Guru. Ajmer Chand said, 
' It is thou who hast instituted the Khalsa religion. 
By thy power and greatness all the Turks shall be 
destroyed.' The Guru replied, ' If thou be baptized 
and become a Sikh, thy glory shall increase tenfold.' 
Ajmer Chand inquired what the marks of the Guru's 
Sikhs were, that is, how they could be recognized. 
The Guru replied, ' My Sikhs shall be in their natural 
form, that is, without the loss of their hair or foreskin, 
in opposition to ordinances of the Hindus and the 
Muhammadans.' In reply to Ajmer Chand' s further 
inquiries, the Guru informed him of the acts allowed 
and disallowed his Sikhs. Ajmer Chand replied, 
' Great king, we must worship our idols and shave 
on the occasions of deaths in our houses. This is 
ordained by our religion.' The Guru replied, ' If 
hair were not pleasing to God, why should he have 
caused it to grow ? In giving the baptismal nectar 
I change you from jackals to tigers. My Singhs shall 
destroy all oppressive Pathans and Mughals, and 
rule in the world.' Ajmer Chand said, ' That is 
impossible. Each Turk can eat a whole goat. How 
can we who only eat rice, cope with such strong 
men ? ' The Guru replied, ' My Singhs too are 
permitted to eat flesh, and one of them shall be able 
to hold his ground against one hundred thousand 
Turks. I will kill hawks with sparrows. O Raja, 
have no anxiety. I shall make men of all four castes 
my Singhs (lions) and destroy the Mughals. If 
thou too embrace my faith and become a Singh, 
thy realm shall abide.' 

The Guru's teaching had the magical effect of 
changing a pariah or outcast through an intermin- 
able line of heredity into a brave and staunch soldier, 
as the history of the Sikh Mazhabi regiments con- 
clusively proves. This metamorphosis has been 
accomplished in defiance of the hide-bound preju- 

h 2 


dices and conservatism of the old Hindu religious 
systems. Prior to the time of the Sikh Gurus no 
general ever conceived the idea of raising an army 
from men who were believed to be unclean and pol- 
luted from their birth ; but the watchword and 
war-cry of the Sikhs 'Wahguru ji ka Khalsa, Wah- 
guru ji ki fatah', and the stimulating precepts of 
the tenth Guru, altered what had hitherto been 
deemed the dregs of humanity into warriors whose 
prowess and loyalty never failed their leaders. 

The Guru continued to address the assembled 
rajas : ' How has your religious, political, and 
social status deteriorated ! You have abandoned 
the worship of the true God and addressed your 
devotions to gods, goddesses, rivers, trees, &c 
Through ignorance you know not how to govern 
your territories ; through indolence and vice you 
disregard the interests of your subjects. You 
place over them officials who not only hate you, 
but are besides your mortal enemies. In your 
quarrels regarding caste and lineage you have not 
adhered to the ancient divisions of Hinduism into 
four sections, but you have made hundreds of sub- 
sections and subordinate minor castes. You despise 
and loathe one another through your narrow preju- 
dices, and you act contrary to the wishes of the 
great Almighty Father. Your morals have become 
so perverted that through fear and with a desire 
to please your Musalman rulers, you give them 
your daughters to gratify their lust. Self-respect 
hath found no place in your thoughts, and you have 
forgotten the history of your sires. I am intensely 
concerned for your fallen state. Are you not ashamed 
to call yourselves Rajputs when the Musalmans seize 
your wives and daughters before your very eyes. 
Your temples have been demolished and mosques 
built on their sites ; and many of your faith have 
been forcibly converted to Islam. If you still possess 
a trace of bravery and of the ancient spirit of your 


race, then listen to my advice, embrace the Khalsa 
religion, and gird up your loins to elevate the fallen 
condition of your country.' Upon this the rajas 
took their departure without accepting the Guru's 
proposal to substitute his Khalsa for existing Indian 
religious systems. 

A Sikh called Ude Singh appeared before the Guru 
without any offering. He said he had one, but was 
unable to lift it. He had killed a tiger, but was not 
strong enough to bring its body to the Guru. The 
Guru sent for the tiger, skinned it, and clothed 
a potter's donkey with the skin. The donkey thus 
arrayed being let loose frightened all animals and 
rejoiced in his unmolested freedom. Several com- 
plaints and requests to kill him were made to the 
Guru. One day the Guru and some Sikhs went to 
shoot him. On hearing the noise made by the Guru's 
party the donkey fled for protection to his old 
master. The potter, seeing the animal's behaviour 
and movements those of a donkey and not of a tiger, 
and moreover hearing him bray, approached him, 
took off the tiger's skin, gave him a sound drubbing, 
and employed him as before to carry burdens. The 
Sikhs on hearing this asked the Guru what he meant 
by such a stratagem. The Guru replied, 'As long 
as you were bound by caste and lineage you were 
like donkeys and subject to low persons. I have 
now freed you from these entanglements and given 
you all worldly blessings. I have clothed you in 
the garb of tigers, and made you superior to all men. 
Enjoy happiness in this world, and the Guru will 
take care of you in the next, and grant you the 
glorious dignity of salvation. When the donkey 
wore a tiger's skin he was formidable, but when he 
fell into the potter's power he was beaten and a load 
put on his back. In the same way, as long as you 
preserve your tiger's exterior, your enemies shall 
fear you, and you shall be victorious, but if you part 
with it, and return to caste observances, you shall 


revert to your asinine condition and become subject 
to strangers. Moreover, I have made you really 
tigers, and not merely given you their garb, and it 
is for you not to resume your caste habiliments. As 
I have raised you from a lowly to a lofty position by 
imparting to you spiritual knowledge, so if you 
revert to evil ways and Hindu superstitions from 
which I have delivered you, your last condition shall 
be worse than your first, for then there will be no 
hope of your amendment.' 

Some Sikhs went to the Guru and told him that 
the Ranghars and Gujars of the village of Nuh had 
been plundering their property, but that those who 
were armed had successfully defended themselves. 
The Guru took this as a text to preach to his people 
the advantage of wearing arms. They who practised 
their use should develop their martial instincts, 
enhance their prestige, and defend their property, 
while those who remained in the slough of ancient 
apathy should lose all they possessed. But in 
addition to arms men should also come to him to 
be baptized, and should for the purpose appear 
before him with their hair uncut, with drawers, 
daggers, and complete armour, and retain all these 
objects of defence as long as they had life. 

A man named Nand Lai now visited the Guru. 
He was son of a Vaishnav Khatri and disciple of 
a Bairagi. At the age of twelve years the Bairagi 
desired to put on his neck a wooden necklace, one of 
the outward symbols of his sect. Nand Lai refused, 
and asked to be invested with the necklace of God's 
name, which he might repeat to obtain future 
happiness. The Bairagi dismissed him, and subse- 
quently explained his action to Nand Lai's father. 
He had not the particular necklace which Nand Lai 
had asked for, and so he set him free to select another 
spiritual guide. 

Nand Lai was an accomplished Persian scholar. 
There is a tradition preserved among his descendants, 


that when the King of Persia sent a dispatch to 
Aurangzeb, his chief courtiers were invited to draft 
a reply. Nand Lai's draft was deemed the most 
suitable, and it was accordingly selected for dispatch 
to Tuhran. Aurangzeb sent for Nand Lai, and after 
an interview remarked to his courtiers that it was 
a pity such a learned man should remain a Hindu. 
Nand Lai on being apprised of the emperor's desire 
to convert him to Islam, and ever thinking of the 
spiritual guide suitable for him, decided to flee from 
court and take refuge with the Guru. He communi- 
cated his intention to a friend of his, a high Muham- 
madan official. They resolved to go together to 
Anandpur and place themselves under the Guru's 
spiritual guidance. Nand Lai presented the Guru 
a Persian work called Bandagi Nama in praise of 
God, a title which the Guru changed to Zindagi 
Nama, or ' Bestower of eternal life.' The following 
are extracts from the work : — 

Both worlds, here and hereafter, are filled with God's 
light ; 

The sun and moon are merely servants who hold His 
torches. 1 

If, my friend, thou associate with the holy, 
Thou shalt obtain abiding wealth. 

Evil is that society from which evil resulteth, 
And which will at last bring sorrow in its train. 

As far as may be, remain servants and claim not to be 
Master : 2 

A servant ought not to search for aught but service. 

Hence, my dear friend, thou oughtest to distinguish 
between thyself and God. Even if thou art united with 

1 This was addressed to those who held the sun and moon to be 
gods and objects of worship. 

2 Some Vedanlists with their pantheistic ideas claim to be God 


Him, utter not one word which doth not express thy sub- 
jection to Him. When Mansur said, I am God, they put 
his head on the gibbet. 

This heart of thine, O man, is God's temple : 
What shall I say ? This is God's ordinance. 

Since thou knowest that God abideth in every heart, 
It is thy duty to treat every one with respect. 

Though thy Lord sitteth and converseth with thee, 
Yet through thy stupidity thou runnest in every 
direction to find Him. 1 

The Omnipotent is manifested by His omnipotence. 

Sweetness trickleth from the words of the holy ; 

The water of life drippeth from every hair of their bodies. 

The saints are the same without and within ; 
Both worlds are subject to their orders. 

They who search for God are ever civil. 

Courtesy pointeth out the way that leadeth to God. 
The discourteous are beyond God's kindness. 2 

In the following extract from Nand Lai's Diwan 
Goya, a clear distinction is drawn between God and 
man: — 

Although the wave and the ocean both consist of water, 
yet there is a great difference between them. I am one 
wave of Thee who art an endless sea. Thou art as distinct 
from me as heaven is from earth. 

1 That is, thou goest on idolatrous pilgrimages 

2 After the death of Aurangzeb Bhai Nand Lai found a patron in 
his son the Emperor Bahadur Shah, under whom he found leisure to 
write his works on the Sikh religion. 


Chapter XIII 

About this time the Guru, thinking that his 
kitchen was not well served, paid a visit to it in 
disguise, and asked for something to eat. He 
received various refusals from the cooks. One of 
them said that prayer must first be offered. Another, 
' We must first give the Guru his dinner.' When 
the Guru had received several similar excuses and 
nothing to eat, though he urged that he was hungry, 
he went to Nand Lai to beg his dinner. Nand Lai at 
once brought forth flour, vegetables, salt, and clari- 
fied butter, and handed them to the supposed 
mendicant, who took them and departed. Next 
day the Guru in open court told how he had 
paid a visit in disguise to his kitchen, and how he 
had been treated. The cooks were very much 
ashamed and craved forgiveness. He then gave 
orders that every wandering Sikh who came to his 
door should at once receive food, whether raw or 
cooked, without excuse or delay. The Guru con- 
tinued : ' There is nothing equal to the bestowal 
of food. Blest is the man who giveth to the 
really hungry. Let no one fix a time for the 
exercise of this virtue. It is not necessary to consider 
whether it is night or day, evening or morning, 
whether the moon is dark or full, or if there is 
a particular anniversary. Nor is it necessary to 
consider what the social position of the applicant 
may be. Avoid all delay in such a matter. Charity 
is of all gifts the greatest, for it saveth life.' 

The Guru had an opportunity of making further 
trial of the masands. Some Sikhs of Patna, Manger, 
and other parts of Bengal came to see him. These 
were accompanied by Chaia and Maia, sons of 
Bulaki, the masand of Dhaka. One of the Sikhs 
presented a piece of Dhaka muslin to the Guru as 
an offering. His courtiers began to admire it, and 
said they had never before seen such a beautiful 


fabric. On inquiry it was discovered that the same 
Sikh had previously made a similar present through 
the masands to the Guru's mother, but it had never 
reached her. Chaia and Maia were scourged as 
a punishment. 

The Guru heard that the Ranghars and Gujars of 
a town called Bajrur, beyond the Satluj, had plun- 
dered some Sikhs. The Guru took occasion during 
one of his hunting excursions to proceed thither 
with a small force. The town was invested and 
exemplary punishment meted out to its inhabitants, 
so that no one might afterwards be tempted to annoy 
the Guru's followers. 

A story is told which illustrates the Sikh view 
of sacred music. A Sikh complained that the 
musicians on one occasion began to chant before 
he had quite finished reciting the Sukhmani. The 
Guru said that reciting the Gurus' hymns bore the 
same comparison to chanting them to musical accom- 
paniments as coarse pulse to sweet sacred food. The 
gyanis supply another comparison, and say that 
recitation is to chanting with music as well water, 
which only benefits the owner of a few fields, to 
rain water which sheds blessings on all. 

There is an anecdote told of a Sikh who in the 
Guru's presence mispronounced a word in the 
Granth Sahib, and so gave a wrong meaning to the 
line in which it occurred. The Guru took the mis- 
take as a text to preach the advantages of correct 
reading of the Sikh sacred hymns. 1 O Sikhs, listen 
to what I have to tell you on this subject. Read 
the Gurus' hymns correctly. There is the greatest 
advantage in such reading, for it will ensure bliss 
here and hereafter. If a hymn be written incorrectly, 
correct it and then read it, as one may mend and use a 
household article which hath been broken. The man 
who thus correcteth not the Gurus' hymns hath no 
love for them.' 

It will be remembered that Guru Teg Bahadur, 


when in prison in Dihli, prophesied the advent of 
the English. One day the conversation between 
Guru Gobind Singh and his disciples turned on this 
subject. His disciples asked him what the condition 
of the Sikhs would be when the English arrived. 
The Guru replied, ' The English shall come with 
a great army. The Sikhs too shall be very powerful, 
and their army shall engage that of the English. 
Sometimes victory shall incline to my Sikhs, some- 
times to the English. As long as the religion of the 
Sikhs remaineth distinct, so long shall the glory of 
those who profess it increase. But when the Sikhs 
become entangled in the love of mammon, think of 
nothing but their own children, their wives, and 
their homes ; when those who administer justice 
oppress the poor and take bribes ; when those who 
sit on carpets sell their daughters and sisters ; when 
Sikhs abandon the Gurus' hymns and in lieu of them 
follow the Shastars and adopt the religion of the 
Brahmans ; when Sikh rajas forsake their Gurus 
and fall under the influence of the priests of other 
religions ; when they scruple not to consort with 
courtesans, and allow their states to be governed by 
evil influences, then shall the English rule and their 
glory increase.' 1 

The Sikhs asked the Guru what should become of 
the great empire of the Turks. The Guru replied, 
' Aurangzeb relying on Makkan oracles is destroying 
the Hindu religion, and in his insane career will stop 
at nothing short of a miracle. He is even preparing 
to contend with me. He respecteth not the religion of 
the Gurus, but we shall gain the victory, and the 
glory of the Turks shall fade away. Such of them 
as survive shall become common labourers and suffer 
indignities from their masters. At the end of the 
Sambat year 1800 (a. d. 1743) the Sikhs shall take 
possession of many countries. Three years after 
that Sikhs shall spring out of every bush, and there 

1 Suraj Parkash, Rut III, Chapter 37. 


shall subsequently be terrible warfare between the 
Sikhs and the Muhammadans. 

' A powerful monarch shall come from Kandhar 1 
and destroy countless Sikhs. Their heads shall be 
piled in heaps. He shall continue his progress of 
destruction to Mathura in Hindustan, and alarm 
many lands. None shall be able to withstand him. 
As prophesied by Guru Arjan, he shall raze the 
temple of Amritsar to the ground, but the Sikhs 
shall plunder his camp on his retreat from India. 

' In the Sambat year 1900 (a. d. 1843), the Turks 
who survive shall lose their empire. A Christian 
army shall come from Calcutta. The Sikhs who are 
at variance with one another will join them. There 
shall be great destruction of life, and men and 
women shall be expelled from their homes. The 
Sikhs who abandon their arms and join the Brah- 
mans against the English, shall have great sufferings. 
The real Sikhs shall hold their ground and survive.' 

A Sikh called Kahn Singh was once plastering 
a wall and let a drop of mud fall on the Guru. The 
Guru ordered that he should receive one slight stroke 
as punishment. The Sikhs exceeded their orders, and 
several of them beat the man severely. The Guru 
on discovering this wished to make reparation, and 
the reparation was to provide the sufferer with 
a wife. The Guru asked his Sikhs if any of them 
would give his daughter in marriage to the plasterer. 
All remained silent. The Guru said, ' You found it 
easy to obey my order to strike this man. Why not 
obey my present order ? I find you are Sikhs only 
for your own advantage.' 

It happened that at that time a Sikh called Ajab 
Singh from Kandhar was present with his virgin 
daughter in darbar. He said, ' O true king, my 
daughter is at thy disposal.' The Guru compli- 
mented him and said, ' O Sikh, thou hast to-day 

1 This refers to an invasion of Ahmad Shah in a.d. 1762 when 
he blew up the Har Mandar, or Golden Temple, at Amritsar. 


proved that thou art a true member of the Khalsa.' 
The plasterer represente'd that he would not marry 
on account of the endless troubles attending wedded 
life. The girl on hearing this said to him, ' By the 
Guru's order I am already thine. If thou accept me 
not, I will not wed another, but remain here to do 
service at the Guru's feet.' The Guru then inter- 
posed and urged the plasterer to wed the girl. He 
accordingly did so by Sikh marriage rites known as 
Anand. The Guru promised that he should have 
five distinguished sons as the result of his marriage, 
a prophecy which was duly fulfilled. 

The Guru now became frequently silent, a matter 
which caused his mother great anxiety. Seeing him 
one day alone, she approached him, and after the 
usual blessing said, ' Blest am I that such a son 
hath been born from my womb ; but I am now 
anxious regarding thee. People say that thou art 
completely altered. Explain why thy spirits are 
depressed, and thou art no longer cheerful as before.' 
The Guru replied, ' Mother dear, I will tell thee my 
secret. I have been considering how I may confer 
empire on the Khalsa.' 

The Guru prescribed convivial rules as a pre- 
liminary to his great enterprise. Wherever he had 
a kitchen, it should be considered God's own, and 
the Sikhs should eat therefrom. Should any of them 
object on the ground of caste prejudice, he should 
be deemed beyond the pale of Sikhism. Before the 
distribution of sacred food a prayer should first be 
uttered. After meals the first stanza of the fifth 
Ashtapadi of the Sukhmani should be recited as a 
thanksgiving. When a man had satisfied himself 
at the Guru's kitchen, he should take no food away 
with him. When a Sikh invited another to dine 
with him, he should accept his hospitality and not 
find fault with his viands. Whenever a Sikh was 
hungry, he should be fed and treated with respect. 

After this the Guru prescribed some general rules 


for the guidance of his Sikhs. At the beginning of 
every work or enterprise they should recite suitable 
prayers. They should always assist one another, 
they should practise riding and the exercise of arms. 
If the Sikhs remembered the Guru's instruction, he 
promised to make all the inhabitants of India sub- 
ject to them. He who cast a covetous eye on his 
neighbour's property should go to hell. He who 
assisted a Sikh to complete any worthy or noble 
undertaking or study, should obtain spiritual reward. 

Being questioned on the subject of marriage 
relations, the Guru uttered the following : ' When 
I received understanding, my father Guru Teg 
Bahadur gave me this instruction, " O son, as long 
as there is life in thy body, make this thy sacred 
duty ever to love thine own wife more and more. 
Approach not another woman's couch either by 
mistake or even in a dream. Know that the love 
of another's wife is as a sharp dagger. Believe me, 
death entereth the body by making love to another's 
wife. They who think it great cleverness to enjoy 
another's wife, shall in the end die the death of 
dogs." ' 

Once when there was scarcity in the land the 
Guru's mother, without consulting him, ordered that 
food should be cooked only once a day, and even 
then be sparingly distributed. Upon this the Sikhs 
complained to the Guru. He said, ' Some evil 
persons have induced my mother to issue orders 
contrary to my wishes, but, O Khalsa, the Guru's 
kitchen shall be ever open. The Turks shall flay 
those who have given evil advice to my mother.' 
The Guru's mother on hearing this became much 
distressed, and with tears in her eyes implored her 
son's pardon. The Guru pardoned her, but added, 
' If thou close the Guru's kitchen, my curse shall 
avail, but if thou keep it ever open, my curse shall 
be retracted.' From that day forth, twofold, nay 
fourfold supplies poured into the Guru's kitchen. 


Chapter XIV 

A handsome young goldsmith one day presented 
himself before the Guru and began to fan him. He 
said that his father had taken the charanfahul in 
vogue at the time of the preceding Gurus, and he 
himself had received baptism according to the new 
rite. The youth's mother accompanied him, and 
the Guru invited them both to stay with him. The 
Guru, to make trial of the goldsmith's skill, gave 
him ten gold muhars to convert into ornaments. 
When the work was subsequently submitted for the 
Guru's inspection he was pleased, and ordered his 
treasurer to keep the young artisan supplied with 
gold, and store all the ornaments he made from it 
in his treasury. The Guru asked the goldsmith if 
he had any faults. He replied, ' O great king, I am 
the slave of thy feet, I only seek the society of the 
saints.' Upon this the Guru replied, ' He who hath 
great talents must ever possess some fault. What 
is thine ? The man possessing talent who hath no 
fault must be in God's own image.' The young man, 
however, would not admit any imperfection. 

After this he was allowed to take as much 
gold as he pleased to work upon. It was never 
weighed to him, and he was never asked how 
much he had taken. One day the Guru told his 
treasurer to weigh for the future, without the gold- 
smith's knowledge, all the gold dispensed to him. 
Upon this the treasurer weighed him out twenty 
tolas of gold. When the goldsmith presented the 
ornaments made therefrom, they were found to 
weigh only seventeen tolas. Upon this the Guru 
ordered all the ornaments the youth had made since 
his arrival to be produced and weighed. The treasurer 
found them to be far short of the amount of gold 
taken from the treasury. On this the Guru remon- 
strated with the young goldsmith. ' Thou impliedst 


that thou hadst no fault. What greater fault can there 
be than to misappropriate what is entrusted thee? 
Didst thou not receive thy wages from the Guru's 
house, and was that not sufficient remuneration for 
thee ? Thou art as evil as the masands whom I have 
been punishing. I am pleased with those who, 
though they may wear coarse garbs, eat what they 
lawfully earn.' It is said that on this censure the 
youth reformed his ways. 

The Guru being asked by a devout Sikh what he 
should do to cross over the world's ocean, that is, 
to be saved and obtain deliverance from rebirth, 
gave the following recipe. ' My brother, repeat the 
name Wahguru. Eat what thou hast diligently 
earned. As Baba Nanak hath said, " He who 
bestoweth a little out of his earnings recognizeth the 
right way." Bear no one enmity. Know that God 
is with thee at all times and remember death. Recog- 
nize the world as unreal, and God alone as real.' 

A Sikh went to the Guru and told him that he 
had abandoned the world, as it contained only 
trouble and anxiety. He added that he had come 
in quest of rest, and requested the Guru to point 
out the way to him. The Guru congratulated him 
on having diverted his attention from the wickedness 
of men, and inquired if he could read. The Sikh 
replied in the negative. The Guru then said, ' It is 
necessary that thou shouldst read little or much so 
as to acquire understanding and improve thy mind. 
Thou shalt thus learn the difference between good 
and evil, and what thou oughtest and what thou 
oughtest not to do. There are besides many other 
advantages in reading. Thou mayest thereby obtain 
everything beginning with the knowledge of God. 
The heart of him who is uninstructed remaineth in 
blind ignorance. He who readeth Gurumukhi is the 
best and obtaineth good understanding. There is 
great merit in reading the Japji and the other hymns 
of morning and evening divine service, for they 


erase the sins of many births. He who orally or 
mentally fixeth his attention on the Name, who 
worketh with his hands, who gladdeneth the hearts 
of holy Sikhs, who ever performeth noble deeds, 
and preserveth his mind humble, is very dear to me, 
and it behoves me to minister unto him.' 

The Sikh expressed his earnest desire to learn, if he 
could only find a tutor. The Guru appointed his 
own Granthi, or reader, to instruct him. When the 
Sikh read as far as the line in the Anand, 'Joy, 
my mother, that I have found the true Guru ! ' he 
brought his tuition to an end, and never afterwards 
pursued his studies. The Guru, after some months, 
asked his Granthi how the pupil was progressing. 
The Granthi replied that he had not seen him since 
he had read that particular line of the Anand. Upon 
this the Guru sent for him, and asked him why he 
had ceased to attend his tutor. He replied that he 
had read enough, and had attained happiness on 
meeting the Guru. The Guru smiled and said, 
1 Even with this little learning thou hast obtained 
a knowledge of God, and shalt eventually find 

The Guru once asked his Sikhs to tell him who 
was emperor of India in Kabir's time. One Sikh 
said Humayun ; a second, Alexander the Great ; 
a third, Madanpal. In short none of them could 
tell the emperor's name. The Guru made this a text 
from which to preach the advantages of knowledge, 
as well as holiness, and the good repute obtained 
from them in both worlds — ' Every one, even down 
to ignorant women, knoweth the name of Kabir, 
though he was only a weaver. That is because he 
repeated God's name and practised true devotion. 
Sikandar Lodi was then emperor ; but none of you 
even knoweth his name, and there is no trace of 
him left in the world, while Kabir's fame is blazoned 
in every country and his memory is universally 
honoured. Wherefore, members of the Khalsa, 



remember the true Name, serve the saints, be 
humble, lay your love and devotion at the feet of 
the immortal God, and you too shall be honoured 
here and hereafter.' 

As the Guru's power daily increased, the hill 
chiefs thought it expedient to send a resident to his 
court who would inform them of his movements and 
proceedings. A man called Paramanand was accord- 
ingly selected for that delicate mission. When he 
came to the Guru he told him that his object was 
to be in a position to behold him continually, and 
thus gain spiritual advantages. He added that he 
desired to send the rajas occasionally accounts of 
the Guru's good health and welfare, and to preserve 
the amicable relations which already subsisted. 

Some Sikhs asked the Guru how karah parsad 
or sacred food should be prepared. He replied : 
' Wash and clean the cooking-place, then procure 
equal portions of refined sugar, fine flour, and 
clarified butter. Boil the sugar in water and render 
it liquid. Put the clarified butter and flour into 
another vessel, and boil them until they assume 
a reddish colour. Then mix the liquefied sugar with 
the clarified butter and flour, and boil all together. 
When this is done a Granthi must repeat certain 
prescribed prayers. The mixture then becomes 
sacred food (karah parsad) and is fit for use.' 1 
The cook must be a Sikh who has bathed in the 
morning and who can repeat at least the Japji from 

A Sikh married couple came to the Guru in order 
to complain against their son. They said they were 
satisfied with the wealth God had given them ; 
their only trouble arose from their son's contumacy. 
He was ever in attendance on religious men, and 
paid no regard to what he ate or what he wore. If 

1 The Hindus in the preparation of their sacred food use the same 
ingredients, but add coco-nut as a bonne bouche for the goddess 
Durga, and anise seed as a relish for the monkey-god Hanuman. 


the subject of marriage, so natural to a young man, 
were mentioned to him, he was ready to die as if 
poisoned. When pressed on the subject, he said 
that the Guru had forbidden his marriage. When 
they represented to him that the Guru himself was 
a married man, the youth would only say, ' He can 
do what he pleaseth himself. He hath forbidden 
me.' The Guru sent for the youth and asked when 
he had forbidden him. He replied, ' O Guru, in the 
Anand which thou wrotest as Guru Amar Das for 
the instruction of the Sikhs, there is the following 
passage : — 

O dear man, do thou ever remember the True One. 
This family which thou seest shall not depart with thee ; 
It shall not depart with thee ; why fix thy thoughts 
on it ? 

Never do what thou shalt have to repent of at last. 
Listen thou to the instruction of the true Guru, it is that 
which shall go with thee. 

Saith Nanak, O dear man, ever remember the True One. 

' This instruction,' said the youth, ' is imprinted 
on my mind.' The Guru was so pleased on hearing 
this that he embraced him, and said to his parents, 
' Men are continually warned, but none taketh heed. 
Blest is he who hath forsaken mammon. It is his 
good fortune that he hath awakened to contempt 
of the world. This son of yours shall save both your 
families, and you shall have another son besides to 
gladden your hearts.' The Guru detained the youth, 
and dismissed his parents. He was pleased that the 
spontaneous love of God had sprung up in the young 
man's heart, and he instructed him in the duties 
both of a husband and a hermit. After a comparison 
of both, he embraced domestic life. 

Once in the sultry weather, as the Guru was 
perspiring, his servants took his bed from the ground 
floor to the top of his house. From there he heard 
an altercation between two Sikhs regarding a debt 

I 2 


of seven rupees. Mala Singh had lent this sum to 
Lahaura Singh, but the latter would not return it. 
When, at the suggestion of Mala Singh's wife, 
Lahaura Singh was further dunned, he composed this 
couplet : — 

0 Sikh, eat the wealth of a Sikh without anxiety ; 
Thou hast come to annoy me at which I am very angry ; 

and added: — 
A Sikh shall receive whatever is written in his destiny. 

Mala Singh replied, ' Thou embezzlest my money, 
and then lecturest me; thou forgettest what hath 
been said : — 

They whose acts are deceitful shall be punished in God's 
court : 

Death shall smite them ; they shall greatly weep and 
regret when they enter hell.' 

Lahaura Singh capped this with another : — 

No one shall ask for an account as long as God pardoneth. 1 

The Guru overhearing this interchange of verses 
cried out, ' They who live and spend money by de- 
ceiving others shall be bound in God's court. Ponder 
on all your acts so as to preserve your honesty.' The 
Guru then quoted for the disputants the lines of 
Baba Nanak against dishonesty. 

After hearing the Guru, Lahaura Singh began to 
speak civilly to Mala Singh, and promised to give 
him his money on the morrow. Lahaura Singh kept 
his promise, and then went to the Guru to solicit 
his pardon. The Guru upon this repeated for the 
first time his ' Muktnama ', or means of salvation. 
The following are its principal injunctions : ' O Sikhs, 
borrow not, but, if you are compelled to borrow, 
faithfully restore the debt. Speak not falsely and 
associate not with the untruthful. Associating with 

1 Guru Arjan, Maru ki War II. 


holy men, practise truth, love truth, and clasp it to 
your hearts. Live by honest labour and deceive no 
one. Let not a Sikh be covetous. Repeat the Japji 
and the Japji before eating. Look not on a naked 
woman. Let not your thoughts turn towards that 
sex. Cohabit not with another's wife. Deem 
another's property as filth. Keep your bodies clean. 
Have dealings with every one, but consider your- 
selves distinct. Your faith and daily duties are 
different from theirs. Bathe every morning before 
repast. If your bodies endure not cold water, then 
heat it. Ever abstain from tobacco. Remember the 
one immortal God. Repeat the Rahiras in the 
evening and the Sohila at bedtime. Receive the 
baptism and teaching of the Guru, and act according 
to the Granth Sahib. Cling to the boat in which 
thou hast embarked. Wander not in search of 
another religion. Repeat the Gurus' hymns day and 
night. Marry only into the house of a Sikh. Pre- 
serve thy wife and thy children from evil company. 
Covet not money offered for religious purposes. 
Habitually attend a Sikh temple and eat a little 
sacred food therefrom. He who distributeth sacred 
food should do so in equal quantities, whether the 
recipients be high or low, old or young. Eat not 
food offered to gods or goddesses. Despise not 
any Sikh, and never address him without the ap- 
pellation Singh. Eat regardless of caste with all 
Sikhs who have been baptized, and deem them your 
brethren. Abandon at once the company of Brah- 
mans and Mullas who cheat men out of their 
wealth, of ritualists who lead Sikhs astray, and of 
those who give women in marriage with concealed 
physical defects, and thus deceive the hopes of 

' Let not a Sikh have intercourse with a strange 
woman unless married to her according to the Sikh 
rites. Let him contribute a tenth part of his 
earnings for religious purposes. Let him bow down 


at the conclusion of prayer. When a Sikh dieth, 
let sacred food be prepared. After his cremation 
let the Sohila be read and prayer offered for his 
soul and for the consolation of his relations. Then 
sacred food may be distributed. Let not the 
family of the deceased indulge in much mourning, 
or bevies of women join in lamentation. On such 
occasions let the Gurus' hymns be read and sung, 
and let all listen to them. 

' Worship not an idol, and drink not the water in 
which it hath been bathed. The rules of caste and 
of the stages of Hindu life are erroneous. Let 
my Sikhs take care not to practise them. O Sikhs, 
listen to me and adopt not the ceremonies of the 
Hindus for the supposed advantages of the manes 
of ancestors. 

' My face is turned towards him who calleth out 
to a Sikh " Wahguru ji ki Fatah ! " my right shoulder 
towards him who returneth the salutation with love, 
my left shoulder towards him who returneth it as 
a matter of custom, and my back towards him who 
returneth it not at all. 1 To him who abideth by 
these rules I will grant a position to which no one 
hath yet been able to attain, and which was beyond 
the conception of Shankar Acharya, 2 Dattatre, 
Ramanuj, 3 Gorakh, and Muhammad. 

' As, when rain falleth on the earth, the fields 
yield excellent and pleasant fruit, so he who listeneth 
to the Guru and attendeth to all these injunctions 
shall assuredly receive the reward thereof. Whoever 
accepteth the Guru's words, and these rules which 
he hath given, shall have his sins pardoned ; he shall 
be saved from transmigration through the eighty- 
four lakhs of animals, and after death shall enter 

1 Mani Singh's Gyati Ratanawali. 

2 The great expounder of the Vedant or pantheistic philosophy 
and opponent of the Buddhists. He lived in the eighth century. 

3 An account of this saint will be given in the final volume of this 


the Guru's abode. If any very worldly man devoted 
to pleasure tell you to the contrary, listen not to him, 
but ever follow the Guru's instruction.' 

Chapter XV 

A Sikh went to the Guru, to complain that his wife 
having been enchanted by a Muhammadan desired 
to embrace Islam. He prayed the Guru to perform 
incantations whereby his wife might adhere to her 
faith and conjugal duties. The Guru replied, 
' Charms, incantations, and spells are useless. The 
Gurus' hymns alone are of any avail. No jin, 1 fairy, 
or demon shall approach her who daily reciteth or 
heareth the Japji. It is the duty of all Sikhs to give 
their wives religious instruction. Thy wife on 
receiving it shall return to her religion and allegiance 
to thee.' 

One day the musicians were singing the story of 
Gopi Chand in presence of the Guru. The story 
being affecting, the audience were moved to tears. 
One man said that the musicians ought to be fined 
because they had in the Guru's presence sung the 
epic of Gopi Chand instead of the hymns of the 
Gurus, and it was written in the Anand that all 
compositions except the Gurus' were inadmissible. 
The Guru replied, ' Only those compositions are 
forbidden which lead men astray from God. When 
simple men sing verses which lead to a reconciliation 
with Him, it is not thy duty to spurn them. It 
cannot harm thee to listen to a story which containeth 
a moral.' 

The Guru thought it prudent to be ever prepared 
for war, and he continued to enlist all who offered 
themselves for service. He provided them with 
horses and arms, and often represented to them that 
the power of the Turks had now grown beyond all 

1 The genius of Arabian tales. 


One day as the Guru was on a hunting excursion 
in the Dun, Balia Chand and Alim Chand, two hill 
chiefs, seeing him with only a small retinue, resolved 
to surprise and capture him. A fight ensued, but 
the Sikhs were too few in number to cope with their 
assailants and were obliged to retreat. A Sikh 
trooper came upon the Guru, who had lost his way 
in the meUe, and thus addressed him : ' As a forest 
hath no beauty without a tiger, so a Sikh army 
hath no ornament without its Guru. If thou assist 
us not in our present difficulty, it will be a matter 
of eternal reproach to thee.' The Guru then dis- 
charged five arrows at the enemy which took fatal 
effect. Upon this the Sikhs, though few in number, 
were encouraged to return to the combat. Blood 
was spilled on both sides like red powder at the 
Hindu festival of the Holi. Balia Chand, on seeing 
the destruction of his men, rushed forward, but 
found himself opposed by Ude Singh, one of the 
bravest soldiers of the Guru's army. Alim Chand 
also advanced to support the hill army, but was con- 
fronted by Alim Singh. Both sides fought despe- 
rately; and men fell like trees cut down by the 
woodman's axe. Alim Chand aimed a blow of his 
sword at Alim Singh, who received it on his shield, 
and then with his return blow struck off Alim 
Chand' s right arm. Alim Chand, however, contrived 
to escape, leaving Balia in sole command of the hill 
troops. Balia Chand did not long enjoy that honour, 
as he was soon shot dead by Ude Singh. The hill 
troops, finding that one of their chiefs had fled with 
the loss of his arm, and that the other was dead, 
took to flight, leaving the honours of victory to the 
Guru and his Sikhs. After the battle the Guru, 
undismayed, continued his hunting excursion. 

After this defeat, the hill chiefs thought it highly 
dangerous to allow the Sikhs to increase in power 
and number. They remarked that the Sikhs were 
to-day in thousands, but in a short time they 


would be in millions, therefore immediate measures 
ought to be taken for their repression. An Indian 
fig-tree when small can be easily destroyed, but, 
if allowed to grow, it becomes a forest and cannot 
be eradicated. The hill chiefs therefore thought 
it desirable to complain to the Dihli government 
against the Sikhs. The Emperor Aurangzeb was 
still engaged in warfare in the south of India. 
In his absence the Subadar or viceroy of Dihli 
heard their representations. The hill chiefs, having 
traced the Guru's history from the time he had 
left Patna and settled with a humble following 
in Anandpur, thus continued : ' Knowing that he 
was a successor of the holy Guru Nanak, we made no 
objection to his residence among us. When he 
obtained power and we essayed to restrain him, he 
went to Nahan and there formed an alliance with 
its raja. He then came into collision with Raja 
Fatah Shah of Srinagar, which ultimately led to the 
battle of Bhangani, where there was great destruc- 
tion of human life. After his return to Anandpur, 
the Guru established a new sect distinct from the 
Hindus and Muhammadans, to which he hath given 
the name of Khalsa. He hath united the four castes 
into one, and made many followers. He invited us 
to join him, and promised, if we consented, that 
we should obtain empire in this world and salvation 
in the next. He suggested to us that if we rose in 
rebellion against the Emperor, he would assist us 
with all his forces, because the Emperor had killed 
his father, and he desired to avenge his death. As 
we did not think it proper to oppose the Emperor, 
the Guru is displeased with us, and now giveth us 
every form of annoyance. We cannot restrain him, 
and have accordingly come to crave the protection 
of this just government against him. If the govern- 
ment consider us its subjects, we pray for its assist- 
ance to expel the Guru from Anandpur. Should 
you delay to punish and restrain him, his next 


expedition will be against the capital of your empire.' 1 
This representation was duly submitted by the 
Subadar to the Emperor. 

A Qazi called Salar Din came to visit the Guru, 
reminded him of the Sikh and Muhammadan belief 
in destiny, and upbraided him with having reversed 
the judgement of heaven. ' They on whose fore- 
heads unfavourable destiny was written,' he said, 
' have been blessed and have received from thee all 
bounties and good gifts in return for their services 
and their fidelity.' The Guru replied, 'Destiny is 
as the reversed letters on a seal. I bless those who 
bow to the Guru. The letters of their destiny then 
present their ordinary appearance.' This shows that 
the Sikhs need not implicitly believe in the con- 
trolling power of destiny. 

In October, when the cold season was approaching, 
his troops represented to the Guru that they re- 
quired warm clothing. He requested them to be 
patient. A Sikh, he said, was bringing him a bag 
of money to relieve all their necessities. A rich 
merchant, who had been originally a follower of 
Sakhi Sarwar, soon arrived with an offering of two 
thousand rupees, and related his story : ' While I was 
a follower of Sakhi Sarwar, I invested a large sum 
of money in merchandise, but failed to dispose of 
it to advantage, notwithstanding a large offering of 
sweets to my patron saint. That and other mercan- 
tile ventures of mine having failed, I set about finding 
a religious guide who possessed influence with the 
supreme powers. I then heard that the tenth Guru 
occupied the seat of the holy Guru Nanak, and 
I vowed that in the event of commercial success 
I would give him a tithe of my profits. I have 
accordingly brought this bag of rupees, and I promise 
that I will no longer be a follower of any Muhamma- 
dan, but a Sikh of the Guru.' The Guru duly bap- 
tized him and accepted his offering. The Guru was 

1 Gur Bilas, Chapter 14. 


thus enabled to provide warm clothing for his troops, 
and their devotion to him and their belief in his 
prophetic and divine power increased in consequence. 

One day when the Guru felt thirsty, he asked a Sikh 
to fetch him water. Before the Sikh had time to do 
so, a young boy, who had come to see the Guru, 
volunteered to perform the service. The Guru 
noticing that the boy's hands were soft and clean, 
asked him if he had any occupation. He replied in 
the negative. That was the first time he had ever 
offered to fetch water for any one. When he brought 
it the Guru refused to drink, saying it was impure 
The boy remonstrated and insisted on its purity. 
The Guru replied, ' Hear me, O Sikhs, it is an impor- 
tant article of the Guru's faith that performing 
service for saints contributeth to man's salvation. 
The hands are purified by serving them. The feet 
are purified by going to behold the Guru. Without 
serving holy men 1 man's body is as unclean as the 
limbs of a corpse from which all shrink and which 
all fear to touch.' 

The Guru quoted the following from Gur Das's 
Wars : — 

Curses on the head which boweth not to the Guru and 
which toucheth not the Guru's feet ; 

Curses on the eyes which instead of beholding the Guru 
look at another's wife ; 

Curses on the ears which hear not and pay no attention to 
the Guru's instruction ; 

Curses on the tongue which repeateth other spell than the 
word of the Guru ; 

Curses on the hands and feet which serve not the Guru : 
all other work is fruitless. 

His disciples are dear to the Priest ; happiness is obtained 
by seeking the shelter of the Guru. 2 

After this the boy placed himself under the Guru's 
instruction and learned to know God. 

1 The youth had not previously served any one. 

2 War XXVII, 10. 


In due time the orders of the supreme government 
were received on the representation of the hill rajas' 
envoy to the viceroy of Dihli. An army would be 
sent to assist them against the Guru, if they paid its 
expenses, but not otherwise. They accordingly sent 
the necessary funds, and further represented that 
they had no hope except in the Emperor's assistance. 
The viceroy sent for Generals Din Beg and Painda 
Khan, 1 both commanding divisions of five thousand 
men, and ordered them to take their troops to resist 
the Guru's encroachments on the rights of the hill 
chiefs. When the imperial troops arrived at Ropar, 
they were joined by the hill chiefs at the head of 
their contingents. They decided to expel the Guru 
if he offered resistance, but, if he undertook to be 
a loyal subject for the future, they were prepared 
to allow him to abide in Anandpur. 

A Sikh, hearing of the force proceeding against 
the Guru, hastened from Kiratpur to Anandpur to 
give him information. The Guru's men were soon 
under arms. He appointed the five whom he had 
first baptized, as generals of his army. The Sikh 
chronicler states that, when the engagement began, 
the Turks were roasted by the continuous and 
deadly fire of the Sikhs. The Guru went into the 
midst of his troops and gave them every form of 
encouragement. They never retreated, but staunchly 
confronted the enemy. 

General Painda Khan, seeing the determined 
resistance of the Sikhs, shouted to his men that they 
were engaged in religious warfare, and called on 
them to fight to the death against the infidels. Upon 
this his troops discharged clouds of arrows, which 
obscured the sky. Painda Khan himself formed 
the design of engaging in single combat with the 
Guru, and thus deciding the battle. The Guru, on 
hearing his challenge, advanced on horseback and 
said, ' O Pathan, I am Guru Gobind Singh, the 

1 This is not the Painda Khan who was killed by the sixth Guru. 


enemy of thy life.' On hearing this Painda Khan's 
eyes became bloodshot, and he vowed to fight to 
the death against the priest of the Sikhs. He invited 
the Guru to strike the first blow, so that he might 
not afterwards have cause for regret. The Guru 
refused the role of aggressor and said he had vowed 
never to strike except in self-defence. 

Painda Khan whirled his horse round and round 
to find an opportunity of attacking the Guru and 
breaking his guard. At last both warriors and their 
horses stood still, and both sides began to speculate 
on their chances of victory. Painda Khan dis- 
charged an arrow which whizzed past the Guru's 
ear. The Guru ironically complimented him on his 
archery, and invited him to shoot again so that he 
might have no cause for remorse. Painda Khan 
discharged anothe: arrow which also missed its 
mark. Upon this he was on the point of retreating 
through shame and vexation, when the Guru ad- 
dressed him : ' O jackal, wait a little. Whither 
goest thou ? It is now my turn.' 

The whole of Painda Khan's body except his ears 
was encased in armour. The Guru knowing this 
discharged an arrow at his ear with such unerring 
aim that he fell off his horse prone on the ground, 
and rose no more. This, however, did not end the 
battle. Din Beg now assumed sole command, 
and urged on his troops. Maddened by Painda 
Khan's death they fought with great desperation, 
but were unable to make any impression on the solid 
ranks of the Sikhs. On the contrary the Sikh forces 
caused great destruction among them. Ajmer Chand, 
seeing this, prepared for flight. The other hill chiefs 
followed his example. By this time Din Beg was 
severely wounded, and began to ask himself why 
he should try to keep the field any longer, since all 
those whom he had come to assist had ingloriously 
fled. He accordingly beat a retreat, and was pursued 
by the Sikhs as far as Ropar. 


The Guru sent an officer to recall his troops as he 
did not think it became Sikhs to take the trouble 
to pursue cowardly and fugitive enemies. The Sikhs 
returned with horses, arms, and a vast quantity of 
other booty taken from the Muhammadans. The 
Sikh chronicler states that the enemies' heads 
remained on the field like so many pumpkins, and 
that kites, ravens, and jackals hovered round them 
impatient for a feast. 

The Guru continued to keep his troops in readiness 
for defence whenever attacked. He sent for ar- 
mourers to make muskets, swords, and arrows, and 
filled his magazine with gunpowder and lead. He 
issued a proclamation that all Sikhs who came to 
see him should bring offensive and defensive weapons 
as offerings. Numbers, hearing of his bravery and 
piety, flocked to his standard. He baptized all 
comers and thus infused into them the spirit of the 

The hill chiefs again took alarm and said to them- 
selves that the Guru who had defeated Painda Khan 
and Din Beg, though commanding an army of ten 
thousand men, would be soon emboldened to oust 
them altogether from their territories. They must 
therefore either kill him or expel him from Anandpur, 
and with this object they again thought it necessary 
to seek the assistance of the Dihli government. Raja 
Ajmer Chand was deputed as envoy, and it was 
resolved to provide him with costly presents for the 

Raja Bhup Chand, now Raja of Handur, braver 
than his fellows, opposed the dispatch of an envoy. 
He said that nothing could be gained by again 
seeking the assistance of the Emperor. They ought 
to be able to defend themselves. If all the hill 
chiefs concerned were to contribute reasonable 
contingents, they could muster a large army which 
would be more than sufficient to annihilate the Guru 
and his Sikhs. He, however, proposed as the most 


simple and feasible measure, to invest the Guru's 
capital, Anandpur, and starve its occupants into 
submission. Should any hill chief not join in this 
enterprise, the others were to hold no intercourse 
with him, but treat him as an enemy. The Ranghars 
and Gujars, who were their subjects and were at 
ancient enmity with the Sikhs, would now be valuable 
allies against the Guru. The Raja of Handur con- 
cluded his address, ' O Ajmer Chand, a reed is 
a frail support, but a handful of reeds bound together 
is not easily broken. If we all join together, the 
Sikhs will be powerless to offer us resistance.' 

Raja Ajmer Chand was gained over by the proposal, 
and both he and Raja Bhup Chand sent envoys to 
all the hill chiefs. Upon this the Rajas of Jammu, 
Nurpur, Mandi, Bhutan, Kullu, Kionthal, Guler, 
Chamba, Srinagar, Dadhwal, and others came with 
their contingents. When they met in council, 
Raja Ajmer Chand thus addressed them : ' Hear 
me, O rajas, the Sikhs are not merely my enemies. 
They are the common enemies of all. No one is 
able to withstand them. They cannot even be 
bribed by money into submission. We know not 
what their Guru's designs may be. He baptizeth 
Sikhs, and they beget Sikhs as wicked as themselves. 
We know not what the Guru whispereth into their 
ears, that night and day they think of nothing but 
harrying and slaying. Give me your counsel as to 
what you deem best to be done.' 

The rajas were unanimous in promising that they 
would agree to any proposal made by Raja Ajmer 
Chand. If the Guru, they said, were put to death 
they might all reign in peace. Accordingly ammuni- 
tion was served out to the allied army over night, 
and before daybreak all were on their march to 
Anandpur. On arriving near the city the rajas drew 
up the following letter and dispatched it to the 
Guru : ' The land of Anandpur is ours. We allowed 
thy father to dwell on it, and he ever paid us rent, 


but thou payest us not a single kauri. Nay, thou 
hast originated a new religion, and laid our country 
waste. We have endured this up to the present, 
but can now endure it no longer. Wherefore we have 
come to blockade thy town and destroy thee and thy 
Sikhs. This is the time for thee to pay arrears of rent 
for the occupation of our land. We call on thee to 
do so, and undertake to pay it regularly every year 
for the future. If thou art not disposed to accept 
these terms, then prepare for thy departure from 
Anandpur or take the consequences.' 

To this the Guru sent reply, ' O Ajmer Chand, thou 
and thine allied rajas desire to take money from me ; 
but my father purchased and paid for the land and 
now the only further payment you deserve is with 
the sword. If you can deprive me of Anandpur, 
you shall have it with bullets added thereto. Seek 
my protection, and you shall be happy in both 
worlds. Seek the protection of the Khalsa too, and 
abandon pride. Part not with your senses and 
come to terms with us. This is the Guru's house, 
in which men shall be treated as they deserve. It 
is like a mirror. As men make themselves so they 
appear in it. If you proceed to hostilities with the 
Sikhs, they will not allow you to drink even a drop 
of water. Now is the time for a settlement. I shall 
act as a mediator between the Khalsa and you. 
You may then rule your states without apprehen- 

Chapter XVI 

It was now abundantly clear to the rajas that the 
Guru would neither make peace nor surrender. Next 
morning they beat the drums of war, and, as they 
had anticipated, large numbers of Ranghars and 
Gujars under one Jagatullah nocked to their stan- 
dard. The allied armies then proceeded with banners 
flying to Anandpur. In the van rode Kesari Chand, 


the haughty chief of Jaswan, bearing himself, it was 
said, like a mighty elephant. The Guru prepared 
for defence and briefly addressed his men : ' O 
Khalsa, I am ever your companion and succourer. 
If you die fighting, you shall enjoy all the happiness 
reserved for martyrs, and if you survive and gain 
the victory, empire shall be yours.' The Sikhs were 
further encouraged by the arrival of five hundred 
men of the Manjha under Duni Chand, grandson of 
Bhai Salo, a distinguished Sikh who lived in the time 
of the fourth and fifth Gurus. Reinforcements from 
other quarters also arrived at this conjuncture. 

The names of the weapons served out by the Guru 
to the Sikhs are given with minute detail : bows and 
arrows, teghe (cutlasses), katars (small daggers), 
jamdhars (two-edged dirks), sarohis (flexible swords), 
sangs (pikes), lances, bichhuas (daggers, literally 
scorpions), jambuas (daggers), scimitars, selas (spears), 
pistols, and muskets. 

Within Anandpur were two forts, one called Fata- 
garh, the other Lohgarh. The Guru ordered his men 
not to advance beyond the city, but remain as much 
as possible on the defensive. Sher Singh and Nahar 
Singh, each commanding five hundred men, were 
told off to guard Lohgarh. The defence of Fatagarh 
was entrusted to Ude Singh, who received from Duni 
Chand command of the reinforcements of the Manjha. 
Meanwhile the allied armies advanced and fell on 
Anandpur like a flight of locusts. 

Ajit Singh, the Guru's eldest son, now grown up 
to manhood, went to his father to offer him military 
service. He was, however, too shy to speak in his 
father's presence, and requested Ude Singh to speak 
for him. The Guru replied that it was the duty of 
all true Sikhs to fight for their religion, their country, 
and a good cause, and he was glad to see his son 
adopting their hereditary profession. The Guru 
conferred on him the command of a company of 
one hundred, and advised him, as he was still in- 




experienced in warfare, to remain behind cover and 
await events. 

Raja Ajmer Chand, reminding his fellow chiefs that 
this was really the most important engagement with 
the Guru, advanced with his troops. The hill chiefs 
opened fire with large guns on the Guru's fortresses. 
Raja Kesari Chand of Jaswan with his troops attacked 
Ude Singh's outposts. Arrows and bullets discharged 
from both sides fell like rain in the Indian months of 
Sawan and Bhadon. 1 The Ranghars and Gujars, 
who appear to have fought with much determination, 
were now reduced to half their numbers, and showed 
a disposition to retreat. Raja Ajmer Chand went 
to Jagatullah, their leader, and remonstrated with 
him. He called on him to avenge the sack and 
destruction by the Sikhs of the Ranghars' towns 
of Nuh and Bajrur. Jagatullah succeeded in rally- 
ing his men, and they again began to fight with great 
valour. Ude Singh on seeing this brought forth the 
Guru's son and with a strong force led an attack on 
the enemy. Ajit Singh displayed great heroism and 
address, and the Sikhs following his example chopped 
off the heads of the enemy, as if they were water- 
melons. The Guru surveyed the battle from an 
eminence and continued to direct his arrows with 
fatal precision against the allied hosts. 

Several brave Sikhs made a determined stand 
against the enemy and forced them to retreat. On 
seeing this the allied chiefs held a brief council of 
war, wherein it was decided to dispatch Kesari 
Chand to attack the right flank and Jagatullah 
the left flank of the Guru's position, while Ajmer 
Chand himself and his troops made a front attack 
on Anandpur. Jagatullah was soon shot in the 
chest by a bullet discharged from Sahib Singh's 
musket, and fell lifeless to the earth. Man Singh, 
one of the bravest of the Guru's Sikhs, arrived 

1 These are the principal months of the Indian rainy season — from 
the early part of July to the early part of September. 


bearing the Guru's standard, and planted it on the 
spot as an indication to the enemy that the Sikhs 
would not retreat a single pace, or allow them to 
remove Jagatullah's body. 

Raja Ghumand Chand, now chief of Kangra, came 
and sought to uproot the Guru's standard and hinder 
the Sikhs from taking possession of the body of the 
fallen chief of the Ranghars. Upon this the allied 
armies rallied, and then ensued terrific slaughter. 
Ghumand Chand and his troops plied their arrows 
incessantly, but failed to cause the Sikhs to retreat. 
The latter defended themselves until nightfall and 
retained possession of Jagatullah's body. The 
opposing armies then retired to their respective 
quarters for rest. The Guru complimented his son 
and Sahib Singh, the slayer of Jagatullah, on their 
successful valour. It is stated that the leaves of the 
sal 1 tree were employed overnight to heal the injuries 
of the wounded. 

The hill chiefs were in great dismay at the result 
of the battle, and held a council of war during the 
night. Raja Ajmer Chand apprehended from the 
resistance offered by the Sikhs to the removal of 
Jagatullah's body, that it would be useless to 
prolong the contest. If they had the same ill-for- 
tune on the morrow, there would be little left of 
the hill armies. The Raja of Kangra professed him- 
self ready to acquiesce in Raja Ajmer Chand's 
decision. The Raja of Mandi too was for peace, 
and advised suing for the Guru's pardon, seeing that 
he occupied Guru Nanak's spiritual throne, and there 
would be no indignity in appealing to him as sup- 
pliants. The Raja of Handur, however, did not 
consider that any reason for effecting a reconcilia- 
tion. Raja Kesari Chand of Jaswan affected to 
despise the Guru's power, and promised to fight 
with more determination on the morrow and expel 
him from Anandpur. 

1 The Shorea robusta. Natural order, Dipterocarpaceae. 

K 2 


Next morning, when the hill armies proceeded to 
re-invest Anandpur, the Sikhs offered valiant resist- 
ance. The allied troops contented themselves with 
concentrating their attack on one particular part of 
the city. The fighting continued with varying for- 
tune until the afternoon, when Ajit Singh prepared 
to renew the contest, and requested his father to 
observe how he comported himself in it. The Guru 
counselled caution, and forbade him to expose him- 
self unnecessarily. At the same time he sent thou- 
sands of Sikhs to support him in what he declared 
was a war for the defence of their religion. The 
allied armies rushed against them with the violence 
of a torrent issuing from the Himalayas in the 
height of the rainy season. 

Whithersoever Ajit Singh discharged his arrows, 
they were messengers of death. When his horse 
was killed under him he fought on foot, and inflicted 
great destruction on his opponents. He communi- 
cated his martial enthusiasm to his Sikh warriors, 
with the result that the hill armies began to retreat. 
Raja Kesari Chand, seeing this, addressed them 
severe reproaches, whereat they rallied and again 
began to ply their weapons. At the same time the 
enemy now clearly saw that they could not over- 
power the brave Sikhs, but must trust to time and 
the starving of the garrison for the success of their 

The siege lasted for about two months, with the 
usual incidents appertaining to that mode of war- 
fare. The Sikhs at one time determined to remove 
the entrenchments of the enemy, and put them all 
to the sword without firing a shot. They accord- 
ingly made a night sortie in which several of the 
hill leaders were slain. 

As the hill chiefs unsuccessfully prolonged the 
blockade, Raja Kesari Chand prepared to intoxicate 
an elephant and direct him against the city. Kesari 
Chand compared the defences of the city to paper 


and sand, which would fall to the ground at the 
touch of the elephant's trunk. The Raja of Mandi 
again raised his voice in favour of peace and sub- 
mission to superior force. Kesari Chand, however, 
swore that if he did not take the fort by evening, 
he was no true son of his parents. All the future 
punishments attaching to great crimes against the 
Hindu religion should be his, if he failed in his 
enterprise. He represented that in point of numbers 
the Sikhs were not even as salt in the porridge of 
the hillmen. 

When the Guru heard of Kesari Chand's boasts 
he said that Duni Chand, who had brought the 
reinforcement of Manjha troops, was his elephant, 
in comparison with whom Kesari Chand's elephant 
was as an ant. Duni Chand, however, had no such 
confidence in his own strength and prowess, and 
counselled peace with the hill chiefs. He com- 
plained that the Guru was violent and quarrelsome, 
not mild and patient like his father. He therefore 
advised the Sikhs to fly from such a leader. None 
of the Guru's immediate followers would listen to 
such advice, but Duni Chand succeeded in per- 
suading the troops he had brought with him to 
promise to desert to Dhir Mai in Kartarpur and 
adopt him as their guru. The plan of escape pro- 
posed was to descend by scaling-ladders. When 
Duni Chand was in the act of descending, his scaling- 
ladder gave way, and he fell heavily to the ground 
and broke his leg. This interfered with his design 
of going to Kartarpur to place himself and his 
troops under Dhir Mai's orders, and he consequently 
thought it advisable to return to his own home in 

The next morning the Guru after his devotions 
observed that no soldier of Duni Chand's contingent 
was present. In reply to his inquiries, his Sikhs 
told him of the flight of Duni Chand and his followers 
during the night. The Guru calmly remarked, ' He 


who hath run away through fear of death shall find 
death awaiting him at home.' The conduct of 
Duni Chand, notwithstanding his efforts to con- 
ceal it, became known in Amritsar. All the Sikhs 
of that city were thus enabled to avoid intercourse 
with him, and he became an object of social as well 
as religious detestation. One night as he rose from 
his bed he was bitten by a cobra, and died almost 
immediately. His grandsons with his leading soldiers 
afterwards went to the Guru to pray him to efface 
the stigma attached to the family— a prayer which 
the Guru graciously granted. 

As proposed by Raja Kesari Chand, an elephant 
was intoxicated and prepared for the attack on 
Anandpur. All his body except the tip of his trunk 
was encased in steel. A strong spear projected from 
his forehead for the purpose of assault. Thus 
arrayed and prepared for offence and defence, he 
was directed towards the gate of the fort. After 
him came the hill rajas with their armies. They 
were overjoyed as they joined in the unwonted pro- 
cession, and made certain that on that very evening 
the fort would fall into their possession. The Guru 
asked Vichitar Singh, one of his bravest and most 
powerful soldiers, to become his elephant, and he 
cheerfully consented. The Guru gave him a trusty 
lance and said that as Vichitar Singh was prepared 
to resist the mad elephant, so some Sikh should 
now go to cut off Kesari Chand's head. Ude Singh 
offered his services for the purpose, and received the 
Guru's blessing and a sword. On this he dashed 
into Kesari Chand's ranks like a tiger into a herd 
of deer. 

Kesari Chand's elephant was specially directed 
against the fort of Lohgarh. On his way he killed 
some Sikhs, and so alarmed the sentries at the gate, 
that they deserted their posts and fled within the 
city for protection. Vichitar Singh found means of 
opening the gates and went forth to meet the furious 


animal. He raised his lance and drove it through 
the elephant's head armour. 1 On this the animal 
turned round on the hill soldiers, and killed several 
of them with the offensive weapons attached to his 
trunk. Some he trod under foot and others he 
impaled on his tusks, so that he became a powerful 
ally of the Sikhs. The hillmen made great efforts 
to stop his career, but in vain. 

Meanwhile Ude Singh continued to advance 
against Kesari Chand, challenged him, called him 
a great jackal, and asked why he was fleeing from 
his fate. Ude Singh vowed that he would take 
vengeance on him for all the Sikhs slain. Kesari 
Chand, infuriated at his taunts, discharged an arrow 
which lodged in Ude Singh's saddle-cloth. Ude 
Singh on this dashed forward sword in hand, and 
with one blow cut off Kesari Chand's head. Then 
poising the head on his spear, he rode into the fort 
to exhibit it as a tangible proof of his victory. 
Upon this the Sikhs rallied, and cut off all the foot 
soldiers of the hill army within reach. Muhakam 
Singh, one of the Guru's five beloved, shore off the 
mad elephant's trunk with one blow of his sword. 
The animal then hastened to the Satluj to bring his 
pains and his unsuccessful career to an end by self- 

What remained alive of the hill army now took 
to flight pursued by the bravest of the Sikh warriors 
who slew them in numbers. In this retreat the 
Raja of Handur was severely wounded by the brave 
Sahib Singh, who thus added another to his long 
catalogue of triumphs. 

On the morrow the hill army rallied owing to the 

1 In former times in India men were trained to contend and grapple 
even without weapons with elephants. In the Mahabharat such 
a contest is described. The warrior Bhima is represented as 
crouching under the body of Bhagadatta's elephant and causing the 
animal to whirl round and round by the deft application of his power- 
ful arms. 


encouragement given it by Ghumand Chand, the 
Raja of Kangra. He disdained to retreat, and called 
on Ajmer Chand to witness his prowess. He said 
that death and life were the ordinary concomitants 
of warfare, and bravely maintained that neither 
should be taken into consideration. Ajmer Chand 
said, ' Thou art the pilot to take us across the sea 
of mourning. We depend on thee to kill the Guru 
and thus put an end to these protracted and un- 
satisfactory operations.' The Raja of Mandi for 
the third time counselled peace. Meantime the 
homes of the hill rajas resounded with female lamen- 
tation for their husbands slain. Kesari Chand's 
ranis plucked out their hair for the loss of their 
brave spouse, and heaped reproaches on Ajmer 
Chand as responsible for all this sanguinary and 
unavailing warfare. 

On the following day Ghumand Chand directed 
the efforts of his troops against the city, but the 
Sikhs behind their embrasures and defences were 
fully prepared to withstand them. The horse Ghu 
mand Chand rode was killed by a bullet from the 
musket of Alim Singh. There was a sharp mtUe 
round Ghumand Chand when he fell, but his party 
succeeded in keeping the Sikhs at bay and rescuing 
their chief. The battle lasted with varying success 
until evening, when Ghumand Chand, as he was 
proceeding to his tent to take rest after the day's 
exertions, was mortally wounded by a chance bullet. 
All the hill chiefs now became disheartened and 
demoralized. Raja Ajmer Chand was the last to 
remain, but he too left Anandpur, and marched 
home in the dead of night. 

Ajmer Chand, notwithstanding the disastrous 
defeat of the allied armies, determined to allow no 
repose to the Guru. As early as possible he dispatched 
an envoy to Wazir Khan, 1 the Emperor's viceroy in 
Sarhind, to complain that the Guru would not suffer 

This is, of course, not the old friend of the Guru. 


His Majesty's unoffending subjects to abide in peace. 
He prayed the viceroy to assist the hill chiefs in 
destroying the Guru's power and expelling him from 
Anandpur. Another envoy was dispatched to the 
viceroy of Dihli to make a similar complaint. The 
two viceroys then made a joint representation to 
the Emperor against the Guru. It happened that 
at that time some wandering mimes visited the 
Emperor's camp. He ordered them to imitate the 
Sikhs, and they accordingly did so. Though their 
performance was obviously a travesty, the Emperor 
could very clearly gather from it the love the Sikhs 
bore one another in popular estimation ; and he con- 
cluded that they had become a formidable power, 
which it would be expedient to crush. The 
viceroy of Dihli had enough to do to protect the 
capital during the Emperor's absence in the distant 
Dakhan, so orders were issued to the viceroy of 
Sarhind to proceed at once with his army to expel 
the Guru from Anandpur. 

Chapter XVII 

After the Guru's victory over the hill chiefs his 
disciples rapidly increased, and thousands of recruits 
were added to his army. To enhance his style and 
dignity he ordered that his body-guard should for 
the future be provided with arrows tipped with gold 
to the value of sixteen rupees each. 

Bhai Ram Kaur, came to visit the Guru. The 
Guru's mother, it is said, had been expecting some 
holy man and was anxiously awaiting him. The 
Guru expressed the pleasure he felt to receive the 
representative of a family which ever since the days 
of Baba Nanak had been true and faithful to the 
Guru and the Sikh cause. The Guru baptized him 
and named him Gurbakhsh Singh. This man is 
principally remarkable for having, it is said, dictated 


to a scribe called Sahib Singh the work entitled Sau 
Sakhi, some account of which has already been given . 

One Joga Singh came from Peshawar to visit the 
Guru, and remained with him until the time for his 
marriage to a beautiful girl, when he departed to 
his own country. The Guru unwilling to lose his 
companionship, and wishing at the same time to 
make trial of his devotion, sent a letter to be delivered 
him in the midst of the marriage ceremony. It 
contained an order that whether Joga Singh was 
standing or sitting, sleeping or waking, he should 
on receiving it at once return to the Guru. The 
messenger presented the letter when only two of the 
marriage circumambulations had been completed. 
Joga Singh at once stopped the marriage ceremony, 
and forthwith proceeded to the Guru. On the way 
he plumed himself on his obedience, and thus com- 
mitted the sin of pride. In further forgetfulness 
of the Guru's teaching, he on arriving at Hoshiarpur 
thought he would visit a courtesan to drown in her 
company his regret for the interruption of his 
marriage. Whenever he presented himself to the 
woman, a servant was found at her door to warn him 
away. Having waited until the early morning, he 
at last bethought him that he was violating the 
commands of the Guru, and he consequently deter- 
mined to proceed on his journey. The Guru smiled 
on seeing him. When Joga Singh told the Sikhs 
the incidents of his journey, they knew that he had 
been saved from sin by the miraculous interposition 
of the Guru. 

The Guru about this time heard that a large 
imperial army was on its way to attack Anandpur 
and assist the hill chiefs, so he deemed it expedient 
to advance to meet them on open ground. He 
accordingly went to Nirmoh, a village over a mile 
distant from Kiratpur. 

Raja Ajmer Chand and the Raja of Kangra said 
that now was their time to seize the Guru. He 


had no fort to protect him and no further means of 
withstanding them, and it was not necessary to 
await the arrival of the imperial army. Both sides 
were prepared for battle. The Guru and his troops 
took up a post on an eminence, and the hill chiefs 
also took up what seemed to them advantageous 
positions. A fierce combat ensued in which the 
Sikhs were ultimately victorious 

One afternoon as the Guru sat in court the hill 
chiefs engaged a Muhammadan gunner to kill him 
for adequate remuneration. Ajmer Chand under- 
took in the event of the assassin's success, to give 
him Rs. 5000 and the proprietary rights of a village. 
The other rajas too promised proportionate rewards. 
The Muhammadan assured them that all prepara- 
tions for his design would be ready by the morrow. 

Next day, as the Guru sat in the same place, he 
was warned by a Sikh of the plot against his life, 
and advised to take precautions. The Guru replied, 
' How long am I to remain in concealment ? What- 
soever the Creator hath decided shall take place.' 
During this conversation a cannon ball from the 
enemy's camp took away the servant who was 
fanning him. The Guru took up his bow and arrow 
and shot the gunner while in the act of reloading. 
With a second arrow the Guru killed the Muham- 
madan gunner's brother who also was serving the 
gun. On seeing these two skilled artillerymen slain, 
the hillmen took to flight. The Muhammadans were 
buried on the spot called Siyah Tibbi or black hill, 
and a votive temple was erected by the Sikhs to 
commemorate the Guru's escape. 

The army of Wazir Khan, the viceroy of Sarhind, 
in due time proceeded against the Guru The Guru 
now found himself in a very dangerous position 
between the hill chiefs on the one hand, and the 
imperial army on the other. He resolved, however, 
to defend himself where he was, and his Sikhs 
resolved to stand faithfully and valiantly by him. 


They discharged arrows with fatal effect on the 
imperial troops as they advanced, so that corpse 
rolled over corpse. Wazir Khan gave an order to 
his troops to make a sudden rush and seize the 
Guru. The Guru was ably and successfully pro- 
tected by his faithful son Ajit Singh and his other 
brave warriors. They stayed the advance of the 
imperial troops, and cut them down in rows, as if 
they had lain down to sleep in their beds. The 
carnage continued until night rendered it no longer 
possible for the adversaries to see one another. 

After a council of war held during the night the 
crafty hill chiefs represented to Wazir Khan that 
the cause of enmity between the Guru and them- 
selves was that he had tried to forcibly convert 
them to his religion. They also stated that the 
Guru had offered to join them in making war on 
the Emperor, whom he proposed to kill, and whose 
empire he promised to transfer to them. Continuing 
their falsehoods, they further informed Wazir Khan 
that they had spurned all the Guru's offers on account 
of their loyalty to the Emperor. 

Next day the imperial army and the contingents 
of the hill chiefs made such a furious assault on the 
Guru's forces that he felt obliged to give way. For 
him to return to Anandpur would have been in- 
judicious under the circumstances, and would only 
lead to its destruction, so he decided on retiring to 
Basali whose raja had frequently invited him to his 
capital. Then marched in the van Ude Singh, Alim 
Singh, Daya Singh, and Muhakam Singh in command 
of two thousand men. They were accompanied by 
the Guru's son Ajit Singh. Sahib Singh marched 
next with one thousand of the bravest of the Sikhs. 
The Guru himself took command of the rear guard. 

The Guru's departure was the signal for an attack 
by the imperial army and a general mike ensued 
in which dust obscured the sky. Cries of ' Kill 
him ! ' ' Seize him ! ' ' Allow not the Guru to 


escape ! ' resounded. Wazir Khan bit his thumb, 
and said he had never before witnessed such des- 
perate fighting. Though the Sikhs were escaping, 
they were destroying his army. He urged the hill 
chiefs to support him, but they were unable to render 
effectual help. Until the Guru's army reached the 
Satluj there was stubborn fighting, in which the 
brave Sahib Singh was slain. The Guru then told 
his men to make a firm stand, while his son Ajit 
Singh crossed over with the baggage. The Guru 
with his troops then crossed over taking with them 
Sahib Singh's body. The hill chiefs were overjoyed 
at being, as they thought, delivered from the Guru. 
They made presents of elephants to Wazir Khan 
and departed to their homes. 

The Guru having succeeded in crossing the river 
proceeded to Basali, and took up his residence with 
its hospitable raja. Wazir Khan did not avail him- 
self of his opportunity to pursue the Guru, but 
returned to his viceroyalty of Sarhind. After resting 
himself and his troops in Basali, the Guru amused 
himself with the chase as of yore. He occasionally 
crossed over to the left bank of the Satluj and made 
desultory attacks on Ajmer Chand's army. 

One day during the chase the Guru was met by 
an envoy of the Raja of Bhabaur. The raja 
followed close behind, and pressed the Guru to pay 
a visit to his capital. The Guru, to the regret of 
the Raja of Basali, accepted the invitation. The 
Raja of Bhabaur had such faith in him, and was 
so favourably impressed with the general repute of 
the excellence of his religion, that he washed his 
feet, and performed for him all the duties of hospi- 
tality. The raja pressed him to remain with him 
for some time, a request with which the Guru com- 

A company of Sikhs who had sought to make 
offerings to the Guru represented to him that the 
Ranghars and Gujars of Kalmot had violently seized 


what they had intended for him. They cried for 
justice in the name of the Guru, but the Ranghars 
and Gujars heeded not their adjurations. The Guru 
found it necessary to punish these turbulent tribes 
who had never allowed him peace. His troops dis- 
armed them and captured and destroyed their fort. 

The Sikhs having now enjoyed sufficient rest began 
to feel time drag slowly. Their trusted leaders 
Daya Singh and Ude Singh represented to the Guru 
that it was a disgrace to have evacuated Anandpur. 
The Guru was not long in determining to return 
and ordered the drum to be beaten for the march. 
The hill chiefs appear to have been unprepared for 
his return and offered no resistance. The inhabi- 
tants of the city were delighted on seeing the Guru 
again among them. Buildings were repaired and 
decorated, and offerings of every description were 
made to the great spiritual and temporal leader. 
It was one magnificent scene of rejoicing. 

Raja Ajmer Chand, the Guru's most persistent 
enemy, finding him again firmly established in 
Anandpur, thought it expedient to sue for peace. 
Daya Singh recommended the Guru to return a 
favourable answer to Ajmer Chand's prayer. The 
Guru accordingly wrote to say he was willing to 
come to terms with Ajmer Chand, but would punish 
him if he were again guilty of treachery. Ajmer 
Chand was glad to have a promise of peace for a 
time even with the threat held out to him ; and 
he sent his family priest with presents and con- 
gratulations to the Guru. The other hill chiefs on 
hearing of Ajmer Chand's reconciliation with the 
Guru followed his example, and sent him tangible 
indications of their good-will and friendly intentions. 


Chapter XVIII 

In a conversation regarding the fabulous bird 
called anal in Hindi and huma in Persian poetry, 
some one remarked that arrows winged with the 
bird's feathers would reach a prodigious distance. 
The Guru remarked that, as it was the peculiarity 
of the bird's feathers to carry arrows to its home 
in the sky, so the repetition of one of the Gurus' 
hymns would take the soul to heaven. 'He', con- 
tinued the Guru, ' who speaketh truth, who serveth 
the congregation of saints, and who hath confidence 
in the Gurus' hymns is my Sikh, and shall for ever 
abide in bliss.' 

Several Sikhs from the north of the Panjab came 
to visit the Guru and present their offerings. A 
Sikh residing in Rohtas in the present district of 
Jihlam 1 thought that the most suitable offering he 
could make the Guru was his daughter Sahib Devi. 
He accordingly took her to him in a palki The 
Guru, in response to this offer, said he had relin- 
quished family life. The girl's father on hearing 
this became much disappointed and distressed. 
He pointed out that he had long since dedicated 
her to the Guru, that in consequence every one 
called her mother, and now no one would wed her 
after her rejection. On the other hand, if she 
remained single, great sin would in the estimation 
of pious persons attach to her parents. He accord- 
ingly pressed the Guru to reconsider his decision. 

The Guru then told him to ask her if she would 
consent to serve him. She replied in the affirmative. 
The Guru upon this baptized her, gave her the 
name Sahib Kaur, and consigned her to his mother's 
apartments. There she made a vow that she would 

1 Bhai Sukha Singh makes this event occur when the Guru was on 
his way to the South of India. In that case the father of the girl 
might have come from Rohtas in Bihar. 


not touch food until she had seen the Guru. The 
Guru could not allow her to die of hunger, and 
accordingly visited her. One day as she was sham- 
pooing him, he asked her if she had any request to 
make. She replied, that as her two co- wives had 
sons, so she also desired a son to call her own. The 
Guru replied, ' I will give thee a son who will abide 
for ever. I will put the whole Khalsa into thy 
lap.' The lady on hearing this was much pleased, 
and prostrated herself before her master. It is still 
not an uncommon thing for a Sikh to say, when 
asked regarding his parentage, that his father is 
Guru Gobind Singh, and his mother Sahib Kaur. 
Such a Sikh would also say that he was born in 
Patna, and resided in Anandpur. Indeed, Sikhs are 
enjoined to give these answers at the time of bap- 

One Jagga Singh performed most assiduous ser- 
vice for the Guru, and was consequently much 
envied by his fellow servants. Some said that 
several men had done similar service and gone away 
ungrateful, and Jagga Singh was not superior to 
any of his predecessors. Others again said that he 
being a new servant was no doubt diligent, but his 
zeal would soon evaporate. The Guru overhearing 
these remarks sent for a vessel of water, a stone, 
and some sweets. He put the stone and sweets 
into the water. After a short time he ordered 
them to be taken out. The stone of course came out 
whole, but the sweets had all dissolved. The Guru 
read his servants a moral lesson from what they 
had seen. He said that those who served him well 
and heartily, blended with him as the sweets had done 
with the water j while those who served him for 
show and appearance, had hearts like the stone 
which never dissolved. He then ordered that no 
one should for the future molest or speak evil of 
his faithful servant Jagga Singh. 

Raja Ajmer Chand, though outwardly professing 


peace, determined to again expel the Guru from 
Anandpur. He accordingly sent a Brahman as an 
ambassador, but really as a spy on the Guru's pro- 
ceedings. The Brahman on being introduced to the 
Guru used very mild and plausible language. The 
Guru, however, soon discovered that he was a very 
dangerous person, in no way to be trusted, soft to 
the touch like a snake, but filled with concealed 
poison. The man duly set himself to the task of 
ferreting out the Guru's secrets. The Guru well 
understood his designs, but at the same time main- 
tained a semblance of friendship towards him. The 
Brahman wrote to his master to describe the excel- 
lent and confidential relations that subsisted between 
him and the Guru, and at the same time suggested 
that some dexterous persons should be sent to steal the 
Guru's horses. The Brahman also kept his eye on the 
Guru's treasury with the object of ascertaining how 
much it contained, and how its contents could be 
abstracted. In due time Raja Ajmer Chand dis- 
patched some of the most expert thieves he could 
find in his state, and they succeeded in depriving 
the Guru of two of his favourite chargers. 

The Brahman suggested to the Guru to go to the 
approaching fair of Rawalsar near Mandi. The 
other chiefs would, attend, and it would be a good 
opportunity of cementing friendly relations with 
them. At the same time, he told the Guru's Sikhs 
as an inducement that if they went there they should 
see stones swim. The Guru's mother, his wives, 
and his sons all pressed him to visit the fair. He 
yielded to the wish of the majority, and ordered 
all preparations to be made for his departure. 

The Brahman informed all the hill chiefs of the 
Guru's intention to appear at the fair, and suggested 
that they should be present also. The Guru prepared 
a magnificent reception for them, and they were all 
charmed with his engaging manners. The rajas 
entreated him to forget and forgive their former 



offences. They were assured in reply that the Guru 
would treat them as they deserved at his hands. 

The Guru received the wives of the rajas in 
a separate tent He gave them instruction suitable 
to their status and position, and they were entranced 
with the interview. The Guru noticing their admira- 
tion told the eldest among them that it was time 
for their departure. The ranis were, it is said, loth 
to move, but the eldest lady convinced them of the 
propriety of terminating their visit. One of them, 
Padmani, daughter of the Raja of Chamba, with 
her father's permission, sent the Guru a letter in 
the form of a riddle — ' What is that which is com- 
plete ? What is its three-fourths ? What is duality ? 
What is departure ? What are the two houses for 
human beings ? They ate some and took the rest 
to sleep with them. O Guru, riddle me this.' The 
Guru replied : — 

A god's body is complete ; a man's is only three-quarters 

People run after wealth ; men and women are but dust. 

People wander in both worlds after eating and spending 
their wealth in this. 

When the world is destroyed every one goeth to sleep ; 
this is the answer to thy riddle, O child. 

The princess was much pleased on receiving this 
answer, and with her father's permission went again 
to visit the Guru. When she made her obeisance 
before him he patted her on the shoulder with his 
bow. She said, ' I am thy worshipper ; why hast 
thou not patted me with thy hand ? ' The Guru 
replied he never touched any woman except his own 
wives with his hand. 

As the Guru was returning home from the fair, 
he was met by the Raja of Mandi who besought 
him to pay a visit to his capital The Guru readily 
accepted the invitation. During his stay the Guru 


promised the raja that Mandi should for ever remain 
in his line. 

While the Guru was occupied with the hill chiefs, 
the Brahmans were counteracting his religious 
efforts. Sikhs who before their conversion had 
been Brahmans and Khatris now came in fewer 
numbers to visit him. They did not wish that their 
sacrificial threads should be thrown away among 
the bushes, or that they should have to part with 
their loin-clothes 1 . It was in vain the Guru told 
them that Sikhs should spring from every bush on 
which their sacrificial threads had been thrown. 
He said that they who had no faith in him might 
or might not come as they chose. The paltry 
fellows who wore threads the Guru thought of 
no use to him. His Sikhs should become very 
powerful, if they freed themselves from Brahmanical 
prejudices and influences, and adopted the Sikh 
ritual when there were births, marriages, or deaths 
in their families. 

The Guru upon this prepared a general feast both 
for Sikhs and Brahmans, but the latter refused to 
attend, and reproached him with having taken away 
the distinguishing marks of the Hindus. When the 
Sikhs were feasting he said that as the Brahmans 
had forsaken him, so he would forsake them, and 
break off all relations with them. To some of his 
own people who manifested symptoms of dissatis- 
faction, he said that if they remained on good terms 
with the Khalsa, they should always be happy ; 
otherwise sorrow should be their portion. He had 
given everything to the Khalsa — spiritual and tem- 
poral power, enterprise, glory self-devotion, skill in 
arms, and by these should they acquire empire. 
His speech was heard by his first wife, and when 
he went to his private apartments she inquired 
what he had left his family. He replied that he 

1 For the dhoti or insecurely fastened loin-cloth worn by the Hindus 
the Guru substituted the short drawers called kachh. 

L 2 


had given to her children the stable empire of 

His Sikhs were one day discussing idolatry. The 
Guru when asked to give his opinion said, ' All 
worship is valueless without love. The worship of 
images is unreal : the worship of God alone is real. 
Nothing can be obtained by image-worship They 
who place images before them and worship them 
are fools. Let my Sikhs ever meditate on the Im- 
mortal God and worship none besides. Let them 
ever practise arms, that they may be enabled to 
defend themselves against their enemies.' 

On another occasion the Guru gave the following 
reply to questions put him by his Sikhs : — 

He who ever thinketh of the future is accepted as the 
Guru's disciple. 

Famine is bad, and bad is cold ; bad is the love of a 
courtesan ; 

Bad are debt and falsehood ; utter the truth, my friends. 

The Guru further advised his Sikhs not to employ 
an enemy as a doctor, not to listen to astrologers, 
to avoid greed, and to consider wealth unreal as 
a dream. Winding up his discourse he said, ' Let 
my Sikhs eschew evil, adopt what is good, and have 
confidence in me.' 

Bishambhar of Ujjain had once fallen under the 
influence of the Guru's teach ng and made him an 
offering of one hundred rupees. He now sent his 
son, a Vaishnav called Har Gopal, with an offering 
of five times that amount. The son on seeing the 
Guru eat meat became disgusted. The Guru said 
in his presence, that all relishes were pleasing to the 
mind. A Sikh replied that a relish was only pleasing 
to the tongue. Others also gave their opinions, and 
when it came to Har Gopal's turn, he said that the 
real relish was faith in Sikhism. The Guru knowing 
that he was not uttering his real sentiments, said, 
1 Thou enjoyest no such relish, for thou hast no 


faith in the Sikh religion.' When the Guru addressed 
him further reproaches, he fell at his feet and im- 
p'ored his pardon. He then laid his father's present 
of five hundred rupees before the Guru. The Guru 
in return gave him a steel bracelet 1 to wear, and 
promised that the love of God should abide in his 

Har Gopal, not at all satisfied or convinced by 
the Guru's teaching or example, took his departure. 
On his way home he stopped at Chamkaur where 
he met an earnest Sikh named Dhyan Singh. He 
confided to him how he had wasted five hundred 
rupees in making a present to a Guru who ate meat. 
Dhyan Singh said he would restore him the money, 
if he in return gave him the steel bracelet and the 
love of God bestowed on him by the Guru. Har 
Gopal was delighted on receiving such an offer, and 
took the money in exchange for what he believed 
to be the worthless gifts of the Guru. He traded 
with the money and made a large profit. When he 
reached home he told his father Bishambhar all the 
events of the journey. Bishambhar was much dis- 
tressed at his want of faith in the Guru, and remon- 
strated with him. Har Gopal continued his pecuniary 
speculations, and in the end lost all his money. 
He was then satisfied that this was the result of 
his want of faith in the Guru, and he prayed his 
father to take him again to the spiritual and temporal 
head of the Sikhs. The father was pleased to do so, 
and set out with his wife and all his family. On 
the way the party called on Dhyan Singh at Cham- 
kaur and induced him to accompany them on their 

Bishambhar on reaching the Guru begged forgive- 
ness for his unworthy son. The Guru baptized 

1 In the time of the Guru men who could afford the expense, wore 
gold and silver ornaments. The Guru desired to wean his followers 
from the practice, and counselled them to depend on steel both for 
ornaments and defensive weapons. 


them all, and thus addressed Har Gopal — 'Thou 
oughtest to have had confidence in my words. He 
who believeth that the ten Gurus are all the same 
is a Sikh of mine. Look on the hymns of the 
Granth as the embodiment of the true Guru. Put 
faith in the Guru, and becoming a Sikh perform 
thy worldly duties. With humble words induct 
others into the faith, and give thy daughter to 
a Sikh. Let him who is a Sikh according to 
the old rites, marry his daughter to him who is 
a Sikh according to the new rites. If a Sikh cannot 
find a husband according to the new rites for his 
daughter, then let him give her to him who is a 
Sikh according to the old rites, but willing to receive 
Sikh baptism. Let a Sikh receive instruction from 
another Sikh, and not consider whether he is of 
high or low degree. Look on him as a good Sikh 
who thinketh not of caste or lineage. Let a Sikh 
be honest in his dealings, and pray for him who 
affordeth him maintenance. Whoever of the rank 
of Sikh committeth treachery shall find no place of 

' Love the Name ; repeat it in thine innermost, 
heart ; teach the Name. In the Name is happiness ; 
the Name is a generous companion. He who liveth 
for his religion, who eateth only to support his 
body, who walketh in the Guru's way, and who is 
not enamoured of the world, is my friend. As when 
a traveller goeth to a foreign land and is ever hoping 
for the end of his journey, so should man hope for 
his soul's final repose by doing good works and 
remaining estranged from the world. Listen to me, 
my friend, and be ever ready to leave this life. Thou 
and I shall depart. This is not a new ordinance.' 

After this the father and son proceeded rejoicing 
to their home. In the course of a short time their 
wealth increased, and Har Gopal recovered all that 
he had lost. Dhyan Singh told the Guru that, as 
he was ploughing in his field on the day after he 


had received the bracelet and God's love from Har 
Gopal, his plough exposed a buried treasure of great 
value. The Guru congratulated him and called him 
a devout Sikh who would always possess God's love 
and favour. 

One day Mata Jito, the Guru's wife, appeared 
before him and said, ' Thou bestowest on thy Sikhs 
deliverance, union with God, and worldly blessings. 
Let me also be a partaker of thy gifts.' The Guru 
told her to continually repeat Wahguru with fixed 
attention, and she should obtain what her heart 
desired. After some time she acquired by her 
devotion a knowledge of the future, and went to 
the Guru in great tribulation. She said, ' Mercifully 
save thy children, for I foresee thou art going to 
make them martyrs to thy cause.' The Guru 
replied, ' Is it to reverse God's decree thou didst 
receive instruction from me ? I intended that thou 
shouldst abandon worldly love, but it hath increased 
all the more. I have already granted thy sons high 
rank in God's court. Wherefore anticipate not their 
fate.' Jito, understanding that the Guru did not 
intend to save the lives of his children, said she was 
going to abandon her body for she could not bear 
to behold their death. The Guru replied, ' It is 
well ; thou mayest go ; thy children shall follow 
thee. Death is the law of all bodies. Some may 
perish four days before and some four days after ; 
but all must sooner or later pay the debt they owe.' 
Upon this, it is said, Jito permanently suspended 
her breath, and her soul took flight to heaven. 

One day the conversation turned on an expression 
used by Guru Har Rai, that the vessel which 
Baba Nanak had constructed for the salvation of 
the world had almost foundered. Guru Gobind 
Singh vowed that he would repair it for the deliver- 
ance of his Sikhs. On that occasion he gave 
the following instruction to his assembled Sikhs — 
' I have established the Khalsa for the advancement 


of true religion. Let not my Sikhs live on religious 
offerings. He who bound by greed obeyeth me not 
in this, shall be born again as a hog. Religious 
offerings have the same dissolving effect on men's 
minds as borax on gold.' He then quoted the fol- 
lowing lines from Gur Das : — 

As it is the custom of Hindus to abstain from the flesh of 

As swine and interest are solemnly forbidden the Muham- 

As it is sinful for a father-in-law to drink even water in 
his son-in-law's house, 

As even a sweeper though hungry will not eat hare's 
flesh, 1 

As a fly gaineth no advantage but dieth in the clasp of 

So is greed for sacred offerings which are like poison 
coated with sugar. 2 

' Let those who are baptized according to my rites 
bear arms and live according to their means. Let 
them remain true to their sovereign in the battle- 
field, and not turn their backs to the foe. Let 
them face and repel their enemies, and they shall 
obtain both glory in this world and the heroes' 
heaven in the next. He who fleeth from the battle- 
field shall be dishonoured in this world, and when 
he dieth shall be punished for his cowardice, and 
nowhere shall he obtain a state of happiness. Let 
the members of the Khalsa associate with one 
another and love one another irrespective of tribe 
or caste. Let them hearken to the Guru's instruc- 
tion, and let their minds be thoroughly imbued 
with it.' 

1 The Shiah Muhammadans will not eat hare. In the Quran blood 
is forbidden as food, and it is believed by Shiahs that blood does not 
separate by any process from hare's flesh. Lai Beg, the sweepers' 
Pfr, was a Shiah Muhammadan, so they adopt his prejudice in this 

2 War XXXV, i 2 . 


It is said that, as the Guru was one day hunting, 
he came on a field of tobacco. He reined in his 
horse and gave expression to his hatred of the plant. 
He maintained that it burned the chest, induced ner- 
vousness, palpitation, bronchitis, and other diseases, 
and finally caused death. He therefore counselled 
his Sikhs to abstain from the destructive drug, and 
thus concluded his discourse — ' Wine is bad, bhang 
destroyeth one generation, but tobacco destroyeth 
all generations.' 

The custom of sale and barter of horses and other 
animals at religious fairs prevailed even in the time 
of the Guru. He went to a fair held in Kurkhetar 
on the occasion of a solar eclipse in order to purchase 
horses to replace those which had been stolen or 
killed in the previous warfare. Among other ad- 
mirers Madan Nath, a superior of Jogis, waited on 
him. On seeing the Guru he remarked that he had 
the external appearance of a lion, but that he was 
inwardly a saint. The Guru explained that his 
external appearance had been assumed with the 
object of inspiring terror into the Turks, who had 
inflicted great misery and hardship on his country. 

Chapter XIX 

Two Muhammadan generals, Saiyad Beg 1 and Alif 
Khan, were on their way from Lahore to Dihli. 
They were each in command of five thousand men. 
Raja Ajmer Chand having heard of them thought 
he would try to secure their assistance to attack 
the Guru. The generals on receiving a promise of 
one thousand rupees a day promised Ajmer Chand 
their assistance. Saiyad Beg, however, on subse- 
quently hearing favourable accounts of the Guru 

1 The word Saijid (j^-) is different from saiyad (jlle), which 
literally means a hunter, and forms the first part of the name of 
the general above mentioned. 


and his Sikhs, changed his determination and with- 
drew from the Muhammadan army. The battle 
which ensued began with great fury between the 
Guru's and Alif Khan's troops. At a critical 
moment Saiyad Beg approached the Sikhs, and said 
that as they believed in the Guru, so did he, and 
he would therefore fight on their side. Alif Khan, 
on seeing that Saiyad Beg had joined the Sikhs, 
concluded that he had no chance of victory, and 
retired from the contest. He was hotly pursued by 
the Sikhs and Saiyad Beg. On the return of the 
latter from the pursuit, he alighted from his horse 
and went to offer his obeisance to the Guru. Having 
broken with the Emperor, whose servant he had 
been, he threw in his lot with the Sikhs, gave them 
all his wealth to assist them in their struggles with 
the Muhammadans, and remained with the Guru 
as a trusty and powerful ally. 

A Brahman appeared one day in the Guru's court, 
and with a loud voice invoked his assistance against 
some Pathans who had forcibly abducted his bride 
at Bassi near Hoshiarpur. The Guru directed his 
son Ajit Singh to go with one hundred horse, fall 
suddenly on the Pathans at night, and restore the 
Brahman his bride. The expedition was carefully 
planned and courageously executed. In the early 
morning Ajit Singh produced before the Guru the 
Brahman's bride and the offending Pathans. The 
latter received condign punishment. 

Raja Ajmer Chand again summoned his allies 
with the object of chastising the Guru. There 
came to him Raja Bhup Chand, Raja Wazir Singh, 
and Raja Dev Saran. Raja Ajmer Chand made 
a speech in which he warned his brother chiefs 
of the fate in store for them from the Guru, and 
advised them to join him in another expedition to 
crush him. They all expressed themselves in favour 
of immediate measures, and addressed the Guru a 
joint letter to the effect that they had. lived peace- 


ably for some time, but found he would not cease 
his aggression, and they were therefore obliged to 
declare war against him. The Guru briefly replied — 
' My Sikhs have only come into collision with those 
who wantonly annoyed them. The Khalsa are 
ever awaiting battle. To fight and die is the 
duty of the brave. Come and see the power of the 

The hill chiefs on receiving this reply took the 
field without delay. It is said that they marched 
against Anandpur with ten thousand men. Saiyad 
Beg had not been able to induce his large force 
to remain with him, so the Guru's available force 
at this time did not exceed eight hundred men. 
In the former battles of Anandpur the Sikhs appear 
to have remained behind their battlements and 
embrasures. On this occasion different tactics were 
adopted. They met the enemy in the open field 
outside Anandpur. The Sikhs fought with their 
usual courage and determination. Raja Ajmer 
Chand, on witnessing their prowess and the carnage 
they caused, retired from the battle in despair. 
The other hill chiefs continued the fight, but put 
themselves in the rear of their troops. Alim Singh 
and Ude Singh displayed their usual valour on 
behalf of the Guru. They wished to charge the hill 
hosts, but the Guru restrained them, and ordered 
them to use their muskets and arrows from where 
they stood. They obeyed the Guru, and plied their 
offensive weapons with signal success. The hill troops 
on seeing their own van stricken down retreated. 

The Guru surveyed the battle from a distance. 
He was delighted as he saw the enemy fleeing in 
every direction. The Sikhs now flushed with victory 
forgot his orders and pursued the retreating hill 
troops. The Guru was displeased at the temerity 
of his men, and mounting his horse rode back to 
Anandpur. The Sikh force, on finding the Guru 
had left them, lost heart, retreated, and were in 


turn pursued by the enemy. On their return to 
Anandpur they tried to obtain the Guru's forgive- 
ness, but he refused to speak to them. At last, 
yielding to the entreaties of Naurang Singh, one of 
his foremost warriors, he resolved to receive and 
pardon them. He said the Guru was the Khalsa 
and the Khalsa the Guru, and the old friendly and 
affectionate relations were renewed. He then 
ordered his troops to return to the field and oppose 
the enemy. He took up his own bow and effected 
the usual destruction in the hostile ranks. This 
was the signal for the Sikhs to second his efforts 
and fall on the hill army like tigers on deer. Then 
ensued fearful carnage, upon which the hill troops 
again took to flight. Their leaders tried to restrain 
them, but in vain. The battle was at an end, and 
both sides departed to their homes. 

Raja Ajmer Chand, however, was not satisfied. 
He proposed to his brother chiefs that they should 
again make war on the Guru, this time with the 
assistance of the imperial troops. They accordingly 
sent an envoy to Aurangzeb, and prayed him to 
protect them against Guru Gobind Singh. They 
represented that they were ancient subjects of His 
Majesty, and would give him large tribute as the 
price of his assistance and protection. 

Meantime there were great rejoicings in the 
Guru's camp, and the wounded were carefully 
attended to. Bir Singh, Madan Singh, a Rajput 
chief, and Sham Singh visited the Guru. Sham 
Singh pointed out to him that the Muhammadans 
and Hindus were very numerous, and how could the 
Sikhs who were so few contend against them, much 
less hope to obtain empire ? The Guru replied, 
' What God willeth shall take place. When the 
army of the Turks cometh, my Sikhs shall strike 
steel on steel. The Khalsa shall then awake, and 
know the play of battle. Amid the clash of arms 
the Khalsa shall be partners in present and future 


bliss, tranquillity, meditation, virtue, and divine 
knowledge. Then shall the English come, and joined 
by the Khalsa rule as well in the East as in the 
West. The holy Baba Nanak shall bestow all 
wealth on them. The English shall possess great 
power, and by force of arms take possession of many 
principalities. The combined armies of the English 
and Sikhs shall be very powerful as long as they 
rule with united councils. The empire of the 
English shall vastly increase, and they shall in every 
way attain prosperity. Wherever they take their 
armies they shall conquer, and bestow thrones on 
those who assist them. Then in every house shall 
be wealth, in every house happiness, in every house 
rejoicing, in every house religion, in every house 
learning, and in every house a woman. 1 The 
English shall rule for a long time.' 2 At the con- 
clusion of the Guru's apocalypse the Sikhs respect- 
fully bowed. 

The Guru was asked to describe the. state of the 
baptized Sikhs, whereupon he gave Alim Singh as 
an example. ' He was ', the Guru said, ' originally 
a Brahman, but on adopting the religion of arms 
he now shineth like Indar. He ever worshippeth 
the Sword. He never accepteth gifts or invitations 
to feasts. I took away his sacrificial thread because 
if he retained it, he would still be a Brahman, and 
subject to Brahmanical superstitions.' 

The Guru continued to instruct his Sikhs — ' He 
who weareth long hair without receiving baptism is 
a hypocritical and foolish Sikh. I will not show 
myself to him. It is best to adopt one religion and 
not distract one's mind with others. They who call 
themselves my Sikhs and stray to other creeds are 

1 Under Muhammadan rule the Muhammadans used often to de- 
prive the Hindus of their wives and daughters. In many cases, too, 
the subjects were too poor to purchase wives for themselves. The 
Guru possibly also meant that his Sikhs should embrace domestic 
lives, and cease to demean themselves by religious mendicancy. 

2 Sura; ParkCish, Rut V, Chapter 36. 


sinners. Let no Sikh associate with, much less offer 
presents to, those who worship Sarwar, Gugga, 1 and 
similar pirs, or with the misguided men who by 
order of their wives visit male and female Brahmans 
to have their fortunes told. He who giveth alms 
to Brahmans, who slandereth the Guru and his 
Sikhs, shall lay up for himself suffering. Put away 
from among you the hypocritical Brahman who, 
though he receive my baptism, removeth his hair 
in the fashion of the Hindus. 

' Let not any Sikh of mine worship Hindu or 
Muhammadan cemeteries and places of cremation, 
or give alms to one who weareth a religious garb 
for ostentation. I have forsworn such a person, if 
any there be, and let him who stupidly worshippeth 
false gods forswear me. He who feedeth the traveller, 
who giveth alms on the occasion of the Gurus' anni- 
versaries, and who hath faith in the Guru shall 
hereafter go to the Gurus' abode. Let not my 
Sikhs look at Brahmans who reside at places of 
pilgrimage, or at those who don religious garbs and 
strut foppishly. Let my Sikhs abide apart, and be 
ever full of thoughts of God. 

' He who giveth his daughter in marriage to a 
Sikh and taketh no money for her, is a Sikh of mine, 
and shall after his death reach mine abode. Let 
Sikh men and women sit together and hold divine 
discourse. Let them worship God themselves, and 
teach their children to do so. My Sikhs may receive 
a voluntary offering for reading the Granth, or for 
copying it, but must not demand remuneration. 
Let the Sikh priest who receiveth an offering of 
money feed the poor before he feedeth himself. Let 
not my Sikhs be covetous. They who disobey this 
order shall receive punishment from God. I love 

1 Gugga is the name of a saint who is supposed to have become 
a serpent and vanished beneath the earth. In the Panjab he is 
worshipped by Hindus of the lower classes on the ninth day of 


neither religious garbs nor castes. Men's observance 
of the Sikh tenets is dear to me, but still dearer is 
their observance with sincerity. Let my Sikh love 
not the world, but pass his time as if he were to 
die to-day or to-morrow. Let him be ever true to 
his sovereign. Let him cherish his neighbour, and 
seek after righteousness. Let him eat and worship 
at fixed times. Let him shake off sloth and sing 
the Gurus' hymns. Hear me, O Sikhs, practise not 
selfishness. Assist men whether of high or low 
degree, but contract not friendship with the evil. 
False is he who maketh promises without intention 
of fulfilment. 

' Let him who calleth himself a true Sikh of mine, 
accept baptism and do good acts, so shall his previous 
sins all depart on his seeking the Guru's protection. 
Let him renounce the service of demons and sprites, 
and not worship stones or false gods. The hypo- 
crites who stop their noses under pretence of medita- 
tion and count their beads are very impure. Why 
do the fools into whose hearts God's love entereth 
not, wander to places of pilgrimage ? ' 

On another occasion his Sikhs requested the 
Guru to give them further instruction that would 
aid them in their temporal affairs and ensure 
their deliverance from transmigration. At that 
moment the Guru was engaged in other affairs, and 
he delegated Daya Singh to deliver the necessary 
instruction. Daya Singh thus spoke, ' Act as follows 
and you shall be happy — Clothe and feed the Sikhs 
as far as your means allow, shampoo them, and 
bathe them, wash their clothes, fan them when they 
perspire, wipe their shoes, wash their feet, scour the 
dishes from which they have eaten, draw them cool 
water from the well, and cook their food with the 
utmost attention and cleanliness. Let them perform 
night and day these and other similar offices for 
the Sikhs, commit to memory the Gurus' hymns, 
and repeat the True Name. 


' On seeing any person involved in trouble take 
compassion on him, and remove his sufferings to .the 
best of your ability. The exercise of mercy and com- 
passion is very meritorious. He who practiseth these 
virtues becometh the greatest of the great, and the 
primal supreme Being will be merciful unto him. 

' Speak the truth. This bringeth great comfort. 
Renounce falsehood which bringeth great misery in 
its train. On seeing another's happiness be not 
envious thereof ; why attach sin to yourselves for 
no sufficient reason ? In the first place, your jealousy 
will cause you annoyance, and you shall gain nothing 
therefrom ; and, in the second place, God will be 
angry with you and say, "It is I who gave, and 
yet this man is burning with envy." There are 
also other evils attendant on this passion. 

4 Abandon covetousness, practise contentment, 
covet not another's wife, another's wealth, or 
another's children. If you do, you shall assuredly 
suffer. My friends, practise not oppression on those 
whom you know to be weaker than yourselves. Be 
not proud of the possession of learning, beauty, 
great intellect, untold wealth, or similar fleeting 
advantages. Above all deem the bountiful Creator 
One alone. 

4 If he who doeth good acts practise pride, they 
shall be as futile as the bathing of an elephant. 
Indulge not in praise of yourselves or dispraise of 
others. If you do, it will be a great sin. If ever 
you make a gift, boast not of it, but rather strive 
to conceal it. Speak civilly and satisfy everybody. 
Use not harsh language and annoy no one. Obtain 
wealth by honest means and share your meals with 

4 Wear not dirty clothes, so shall your bodies be 
ever clean. Associate not with thieves, adulterers, 
highway robbers, gamblers, ingrates, thags, deceivers, 
or men of bad livelihood. Remember the sinner is 
worse than the sin, for he is the cause thereof. 


When you see an evil man, avoid him at once like 
red-hot iron which cannot be held in the hand. 
Associate with the good, for in such association vice 
is put to shame. Listen to the history of the lives of 
the Gurus. Afterwards where there is discourse of 
God, listen to it with rapt attention. 

' Bathe in holy Amritsar. Behold God's temple 
where the Gurus' words are ever repeated. Sit 
down therein respectfully, and allow your minds 
to think of nothing but God. Ever look with 
devotion on where His light is resplendent, 
whether you go there on the occasion of the Gurus' 
anniversaries, or visit the place every six months, 
or once a year if you live at a distance. If he who 
deemeth himself a Sikh behold not Amritsar, why 
did he take birth in the world ? Unprofitable was 
his advent, and he shall afterwards regret his negli- 

The Guru kept fifty-two bards permanently in 
his employ and others occasionally visited him. 
They wrote on all the nine subjects which in the 
opinion of Orientals are suitable themes for poetry ; 1 
but the composition of eulogies on the Guru occu- 
pied most of their attention. The Guru once had 
the curiosity to weigh their compositions. They 
amounted to about two and a half hundredweight. 
The Guru included them in a compilation which 
he called Vidyadhar. He so valued the book that 
he ever kept it by him — even when he went into 
battle — but it was lost in one of his engagements. 
Some of the bards' compositions are preserved in 
the Suraj Parkash, where they may be perused by 
the curious 

1 The nine subjects are love, mirth, pity, anger, heroism, terror, 
hate, wonder, and contentment. 




Chapter XX 

Owing to the repeated representations of the hill 
chiefs, the Emperor sent a large army under Saiyad 
Khan to reduce the Guru to submission. The Guru 
received intelligence that the imperial army had 
arrived in Thanesar, and would soon reach Anandpur. 
On hearing this he mustered his troops, and found 
they were only five hundred strong. The rest of 
his army had dispersed to their homes. Nothing 
now remained for the Guru but to make the best 
defence he could with his present force. In a few 
days Saiyad Khan's troops appeared in sight singing 
a war hymn to stimulate their spirits. 

Maimun Khan, a faithful Musalman who had 
attached himself to the Guru, said that he was 
indebted to him for many favours, and asked per- 
mission to show his prowess. The Guru gave him 
a bow, and told him he would do well to kill even 
his own co-religionists on account of their misdeeds. 
The brave and faithful Saiyad Beg also came 
forward to continue his services to the Guru, 
Both Musalmans went like tigers into the battle, 
and were followed by the Sikhs. The latter 
represented to the Guru that it was futile to con- 
tend with such a large army as had now appeared. 
The Guru in reply encouraged them, and they 
advanced boldly against the enemy. The early part 
of the battle was signalized by a fierce single-handed 
combat between a hill chief and Saiyad Beg. After 
they had repeatedly missed each other, Saiyad Beg 
at last struck off the hill chiefs head. On seeing this 
Din Beg of the imperial army rushed at Saiyad Beg, 
for whom he cherished a double hatred as the slayer 
of the hill chief, and as a deserter from his sovereign, 
and mortally wounded him. Saiyad Beg died 
praising the Guru. Then ensued a general engage- 
ment of both armies. The Sikhs performed pro- 


digies of valour, and the Musalmans are said to 
have fallen to the earth like minarets toppling from 
their heights. Maimun Khan charged on horseback 
in every direction and committed great havoc among 
the imperial troops. 

An unexpected circumstance now occurred. Saiyad 
Khan, the general of the imperial troops, had long 
been a secret friend of the Guru, and when he heard 
that an expedition was to be sent against him, con- 
trived to be put in command of it, so that he might 
at last be able to behold the great priest of the 
Sikhs, and do him signal service. The Guru knew 
what was passing in Saiyad Khan's mind, and 
advanced ostensibly to challenge him, saying, ' If 
thou attack me not, I will not attack thee.' Saiyad 
Khan on obtaining the wish of his heart to behold 
the Guru, said that he was the Guru's servant and 
slave, and that he would never fight against him. 
The Guru replied, ' I am a poor man. It is only 
rich men who have slaves. To conquer in war is 
ever held honourable.' 

Saiyad Khan dismounted and fell at the Guru's 
feet. The Guru conferred on him the true Name 
and the supreme reward of salvation. Saiyad Khan, 
however, did not actively assist the Sikhs, but turned 
aside from the battle as he was unable to restrain 
his troops or divert their energies to the Guru's 
assistance. They made a fierce onslaught on the 
Guru's soldiers, who began to retire, overpowered 
as they were by a multitudinous host. But at 
a critical moment the Sikh war-cry was raised, 
upon which the Sikhs rallied and presented a bold 
front to the enemy. After Saiyad Khan's defection 
from the imperial cause, Ramzan Khan took com- 
mand and fought with great bravery against the 
Sikhs. The Guru seeing this let fly an arrow at him 
which killed his horse. 

The Guru on closely observing the combat saw 
that there was no chance of retrieving his position, 

M 2 


so he decided to evacuate Anandpur. The Muham- 
madans then captured the city and plundered the 
Guru's property. On obtaining this booty they 
proceeded in the direction of Sarhind. Some Sikhs 
not yet satisfied with warfare asked the Guru's per- 
mission to pursue them. The Guru replied that as 
his Sikhs were subservient to him, so was he sub- 
servient to God. He repeated on the occasion the 
third slok of the Asa ki War. By this he meant 
that it was God's will that he should be defeated, 
and as all creation feared God, so did he himself at 
all times. 

The Sikhs feeling their defeat, again pressed their 
request. The Guru at last yielded, and allowed 
them to pursue their enemies. The latter were un- 
prepared for attack, and fell into great confusion on 
finding themselves pursued by the very men whom 
they already thought they had vanquished. The 
Turks who turned to oppose the Sikhs were killed, 
and only those who took to flight escaped the ven- 
geance of the Guru's pursuing army. In addition 
to killing and dispersing the Muhammadans, the 
Sikhs deprived them of all the booty they had 
captured at Anandpur. The remnant of the Muham- 
madan army finally made their way to Sarhind. 
On this the Guru returned and took possession of 

The Emperor called on his fugitive troops to 
account for their cowardice. They pleaded that 
they had been waylaid by the Sikhs and taken at 
an unfair advantage. This excuse seems to have 
been accepted, for the Emperor then turned the 
conversation in another direction, and asked what 
sort of person the Guru was, and what forces he 
possessed. A Muhammadan soldier gave highly 
coloured accounts of the Guru's beauty, sanctity, 
and prowess. He was, he said, a young handsome 
man, a living saint, the father of his people, and in 
war equal to one hundred thousand men. 


The Emperor was much displeased on hearing 
this panegyric of the Guru, and ordered that the 
panegyrist should be excommunicated. The Court 
qazi advised that the Guru should be brought to 
the Emperor's presence by some stratagem. Accord- 
ingly the Emperor sent him the following message. 
' There is only one Emperor. Thy religion and mine 
are the same. Come to see me by all means, other- 
wise I shall be angry and go to thee. If thou come, 
thou shalt be treated as holy men are treated by 
monarchs. I have obtained this sovereignty from 
God. Be well advised, and thwart not my wishes.' 

To this the Guru replied, ' My brother, the Sove- 
reign who hath made thee emperor hath sent me 
into the world to do justice. He hath commissioned 
thee also to do justice, but thou hast forgotten His 
mandate and practisest hypocrisy. Wherefore how 
can I be on good terms with thee who pursuest the 
Hindus with blind hatred ? Thou recognizest not 
that the people belong to God and not to the emperor, 
and yet thou seekest to destroy their religion.' 
When dispatching this reply to the emperor the 
Guru conferred a robe of honour on his envoy. 

The Sikhs of the Malwa and Manjha districts 
now thronged to the Guru in great numbers, and 
began to study the science of war under his tutelage. 
Raja Ajmer Chand was distressed on seeing the 
power and glory of the Sikhs daily increase, and 
prevailed on the other hill chiefs to join him in 
another mission to the Emperor to make further 
complaints against the Guru. The Emperor was at 
that time in the south of India, and thither the 
raja proceeded in person to lay the petition of the 
allied chiefs before him. It described the founda- 
tion of Anandpur by Guru Teg Bahadur, whom the 
Emperor had executed, and the martial and trouble- 
some proclivities of his son the present Guru Gobind 
Singh. It then proceeded to give the rajas' own 
version of the Guru's proceedings, and how he had 


asked them to embrace his new religion and join 
them in waging war against the Emperor. 

Aurangzeb fearing that the Guru would become 
too powerful, and also displeased at the state of 
unrest that prevailed in the Panjab, ordered all 
available troops under the viceroys of Dihli, Sarhind, 
and Lahore to be dispatched against the Guru. 
The hill chiefs who complained should also assist in 
repressing the common enemy. At the conclusion 
of the campaign the Guru was to be captured and 
brought before the Emperor. It would appear from 
an interview which Raja Ajmer Chand subsequently 
had with the Dihli viceroy, that the latter, in view 
of the safety of the capital of the empire, was not 
at the time in a position to dispatch any troops 
against the Sikhs. 

The Guru was informed by a faithful Sikh of the 
result of Raja Ajmer Chand's mission to the Emperor. 
He harangued his troops on the duty of religious 
warfare against the Muhammadans, and on this 
subject he had much to say. From the time of 
the persecution of Guru Arjan up to the present 
the emperors had been open or covert foes of the 
Gurus and their Sikhs. The Guru affirmed that 
death on the battle-field was equal to the fruit of 
many years' devotion, and ensured honour and glory 
in the next world. 

The time for the Diwali fair was now approaching. 
Sikhs came in large numbers to make offerings. 
The Guru issued orders to absent Sikhs to come 
with their arms and assist him. The Guru's orders 
were generally obeyed, and warlike preparations 
began at Anandpur. 

The hill chiefs who arrayed themselves against 
the Guru were Ajmer Chand of Bilaspur, Ghumand 
Chand of Kangra, Bir Singh of Jaspal, and the Rajas 
of Kullu, Kionthal, Mandi, Jammu, Nurpur, Chamba, 
Guler, Srinagar, Bijharwal, Darauli, and Dadhwal. 
They were joined by the Ranghars and the Gujars, 


and all formed a large and formidable host. The 
imperial army, however, amounted to double their 
number. Wazir Khan, who had been put in supreme 
command by the Emperor, mustered his troops at 
Sarhind for parade and inspection. 

Some faithful Sikhs ever kept the Guru informed 
of the movements of his enemies. He read in darbar 
the last letter of information he had received, and 
vowed to destroy his enemies and put an end to 
the sovereignty of the Mughals. The Sikhs were 
delighted at the prospect of battle, and congratu- 
lated themselves on their good fortune in being 
allowed to die for their Guru and their faith. Several 
of them put on saffron-coloured clothes in token of 
rejoicing, and said, ' We have only four days to live 
in this world. Why should we not endeavour to 
obtain the exalted dignity of martyrdom which will 
ensure salvation ? ' 

Every variety of warlike weapon was served out 
to the Guru's followers, and no one was left unarmed. 
The Guru took the precaution of laying in supplies 
for the maintenance of the garrison in the event of 
a siege. He addressed his troops, ' Consider the 
hill chiefs as well as the Muhammadans your 
enemies. Fight bravely, and they shall all flee 
away.' The Guru then repeated the following 
quatrain of his own composition r — 

Blest is his life in this world who repeateth God's name 
with his mouth and meditateth war in his heart. 

The body is fleeting and shall not abide for ever ; man 
embarking in the ship of fame shall cross the ocean of the 

Make this body a house of resignation ; light thine under- 
standing as a lamp ; 

Take the broom of divine knowledge into thy hand, and 
sweep away the filth of timidity. 

The chronicler judiciously remarks that the Khalsa 
ought to be congratulated because, though few in 


number, they had confidence in themselves to fight 
for their religion, and delighted by anticipation in 
the approaching conflict. 

Chapter XXI 

Wazir Khan's troops advanced from Sarhind like 
a surging sea. Drums sounded and banners flew at 
the head of every regiment. In similar formidable 
array came the troops of Zabardast Khan, the vice- 
roy of Lahore. The two viceroys joined their forces 
at Ropar. There they were met by the troops of 
the allied Hindu rajas, and all proceeded against 
the Guru to Anandpur. 

The Guru on seeing the enemy approach in a body 
ordered his artillerymen to light their fuses and 
discharge their cannon into the hostile army where 
thickest. When fire was opened, the enemy made 
a charge to seize the artillery, but were quickly 
restrained by the fatal accuracy with which the 
Guru's men served their guns. Meanwhile the Sikh 
cavalry advanced and discharged their muskets at 
close quarters. They were well supported by the 
infantry who manned the embrasures. The allied 
army had no protection, and consequently fell in 
heaps before the city. 

The battle continued with terrific violence. The 
sun was obscured by the smoke from the Guru's 
garrison guns. Heroes were all stained with blood, 
and cries of ' Strike, strike ! ' ' Kill, kill ! ' every- 
where resounded. Riders lost control over their 
horses, which fled in every direction, and the battle- 
field presented a truly ghastly spectacle. 

The Guru sent for his two brave generals, Ude Singh 
and Daya Singh, encouraged them, and gave them 
renewed orders. The two chiefs courageously ad- 
vanced with their troops and cut down the enemy 
as reapers a cornfield. Dust flew into the eyes 


of their opponents, and rendered them powerless for 
action. They had no power to withstand the forces 
now ranged on the Guru's side, and consequently 
fell in large numbers. 

The two viceroys were astonished at the un- 
wonted destruction of their armies. They rallied 
their men, but again the same evil fate attended 
them. At last it was resolved to storm the fortress. 
The Muhammadan troops were told that the Guru 
was only a faqir, that he had no power to offer long 
resistance, and must soon capitulate. The carnage 
began anew. Many brave Muhammadans were dis- 
patched to wed the soul- delighting nymphs of 
paradise. The contest continued with the greatest 
obstinacy, and horse and foot for the space of three 
hours were mingled in indiscriminate slaughter. 

The Muhammadans hazarded different opinions as 
to the cause of the success of their enemies. Some 
said that the Guru was a miracle-worker, and that 
supernatural forces fought on his side. Others 
maintained that the Guru's success was owing 
to the fact that his men were protected behind 
their ramparts. While such conversation was being 
held, the viceroys asked the hill chiefs to show them 
how they were to obtain victory. If the same ill 
success attended them to the end, the Sikhs would 
never allow them to escape. 

The hill chiefs suggested that they should then 
cease fighting, and next day bring cannon to batter 
down the fort. ' It is true,' the hill chiefs said, 
' the Guru's army is a low rabble, but very brave.' 
On a muster being taken, it was found that nine 
hundred of the Muhammadan troops lay dead on the 
field of battle after the first day's engagement. 

Next day the Guru mounted his charger, and put 
himself at the head of his troops. The viceroys 
observed a warrior mounted on a sable steed with 
a gold embroidered saddle. He carried a bow 
painted green, and his crest set with jewels glittered 


on his turban. They inquired of Raja Ajmer Chand 
who it was, and he answered that it was the Guru. 
Every effort was now made to destroy him, but the 
first fire of the enemy was aimed too high and took 
no effect. The Muhammadan gunners were then 
ordered to fire low, and promised large rewards if 
they killed the Guru. They were equally unsuccess- 
ful when they fired low. ' The allied armies finding 
their guns useless resolved to charge the Guru and 
his Sikhs. The Guru seeing this began to discharge 
his arrows with marvellous effect. The fearful 
carnage of the preceding day was again renewed. 
Horses fell on horses and men on men. The Hindus 
and the Muhammadans entered on mutual recrimina- 
tions, each sect blaming the other for its ill-success. 
Upon this they combined and made a further effort 
to conquer, but were so vigorously and successfully 
repulsed, that they were obliged to suspend hostili- 
ties for that day also. 

The viceroys and the hill chiefs took counsel at 
night and resolved on the morrow to encompass the 
city, and cut off all external supplies, so that the 
Guru and his troops might be starved into sub- 
mission. While they were thus discussing, they 
apprehended a night attack from the Sikhs, and 
accordingly kept vigil. 

Next morning a watch before day the Guru and 
his Sikhs were found at their devotions. When 
divine service was finished, the Guru ordered his 
men to remain behind their embrasures and barri- 
cades, and not be tempted to advance or come to 
close quarters with the enemy. Meantime the 
Muhammadans and Hindus contented themselves 
with watching the city gates and hindering all ingress 
or egress. At the same time they remained at a 
safe distance from the missiles of the Sikhs. 

The allied forces made another assault on Anand- 
pur. They espied the Guru at a distance and again 
ordered their artillerymen to direct their cannon 


towards him. The Sikhs were much disconcerted 
by the enemy's fire, and requested the Guru to 
take up a less exposed position. The Guru replied 
that he wore the armour of the immortal God, and 
consequently no weapon could harm him. God was 
his protector and had stretched forth His hand to 
save him from all assaults of his enemies. 

While the Guru was thus speaking, cannon balls 
from the enemy hurtled in the air. They were again 
aimed high and missed the Sikhs. When the 
artillerymen were ordered to lower the muzzles of 
their guns, their fire fell short of the Sikhs, and 
struck the base of the eminence on which the city 
stood. The allied armies discharged their cannon 
hundreds of times, but, whether they fired high or 
low, their missiles failed to have the desired effect. 
Thus the day passed until night terminated the 

On the morrow skirmishes were renewed on both 
sides, and the Sikhs inflicted severe chastisement on 
the enemy. The Guru called his son Ajit Singh, 
and told him to hold that part of the city called 
Kesgarh and not venture forth. He gave him 
further orders to kill any one who approached, to 
remain on the alert at night, and to keep his guns 
loaded. The Guru directed Nahar Singh and Sher 
Singh to hold the fort called Lohgarh. For this 
purpose five hundred men were placed at their dis- 
posal. Alim Singh with another detachment of five 
hundred men was ordered to hold the fort of 
Agampur Ude Singh also received command of 
five hundred men to defend another part of the 
city. Daya Singh was ordered to guard the northern 

The Muhammadans and the hill chiefs had now 
completely invested the city, and the Guru's supplies 
were failing. The enemy noticed that the Sikhs on 

1 This was a fortification within Anandpur, and not the town so 
called which is at a distance. 


guard went twice a day from their embrasures to 
pray and do homage to their Guru. The Guru in 
turn kept an eye on the proceedings of the allied 
armies. One day he saw the generals play- 
ing Indian draughts. Raja Ajmer Chand and 
others were watching the game. The Guru taking 
up his bow discharged an arrow into their midst, 
but without striking any one. They examined the 
arrow and knew by its golden point that it had 
been discharged by the Guru. They admitted that 
only a miracle could have sent it such a distance. 
The Guru knew by his occult power what they were 
saying, and wrote them the following letter. ' O 
Viceroy, that was not a miracle. Miracle is a name 
for the wrath of God. I was merely practising 
archery. The brave men who have obtained skill 
in it, conceal not their accomplishments. Every- 
thing is in God's hands, whether He desireth to 
make what is difficult easy, or what is easy difficult.' 
The Guru attached this letter to an arrow, and then 
discharged it. It lodged in a branch of a tree under 
which the allied generals were seated. On perusing 
the Guru's letter they were astonished that he could 
have divined what they were saying; and it is 
said that they admitted his supernatural power and 
prayed to heaven to preserve them from his too 
unerring shafts, and his unsurpassed knowledge of 

On one occasion it was observed that the enemy 
had come very close to the city and far away from 
their defences. Sher Singh accordingly suggested 
to Nahar Singh that it would be expedient to make 
a night attack, and thus take them unawares when 
they should of necessity become an easy prey. 
If the Sikhs waited until morning, the enemy 
would be far away, and it would be impossible to 
reach them. The night was dark and favoured the 
enterprise. Nahar Singh did not at first approve of 
the suggestion, but subsequently altered his mind. 


The Sikh troops were awakened at dead of night, 
and arms served out to them. Having performed 
their ablutions, they sallied forth two hours before 
daybreak. Sher Singh commanded them to make 
but one charge and then return. They did great 
havoc among the Muhammadans, killing them in 
numbers, and succeeded in returning to Anandpur 
by daybreak. The enemy on being aroused could 
not see whence destruction had overtaken them, 
and began to turn their arms against one another. 
Father attacked son, and son attacked father, and 
with mutual reproaches there resulted internecine 

The Muhammadan generals were greatly dis- 
tressed on learning what had occurred. They blamed 
Ajmer Chand for the disaster, and asked how he 
could again show his face to the Emperor. He had 
told the Emperor that the Sikhs were very few, 
and now whence had so many men sprung forth on 
a sudden ? The Muhammadan generals threatened 
to leave Ajmer Chand and his people to the mercy 
of the Sikhs, but Ajmer Chand and Bhup Chand 
offered them large presents, and thus prevailed on 
them to renew the conflict. 

Next day the allied forces advanced to take the 
citadel by storm. The Sikhs on seeing this put 
their two great guns called Baghan (tigress) and 
Bijai-ghosh (sound of victory) in position. The 
guns were then charged, the fuses lighted, and aim 
taken at the enemy where most thickly massed 
together. The tents and standards of the Muham- 
madans were first blown away. Their two generals 
on seeing this retreated. As the guns committed 
further destruction, both the Muhammadan and the 
hill armies took to flight. That evening the Guru 
offered thanksgiving, beat the drum of victory, and 
put his cannon into a place of shelter. 

The Guru was informed that a man called Kanaiya 
used with absolute impartiality to draw water both 


for his Sikhs and the enemy. The Guru asked him 
if it was so, and he replied in the affirmative. He 
quoted the Guru's own instruction that one should 
look on all men with an equal eye. The Guru 
mused on his reply, and dismissed him with the 
compliment that he was a holy man. His followers, 
called Sewapanthis, form an orthodox and honour- 
able sub-sect of Sikhs who live by honest labour 
and accept no alms or offerings of any descrip- 
tion. The Sewapanthis are also called Adanshahis 
from Adanshah, a rich banker who devoted his 
wealth and his leisure to the propagation of their 

When provisions were running short, the Sikhs 
made several night sorties and took supplies from 
the enemy's camp. On such occasions they were 
often attacked, but they generally contrived to 
return with scant loss. When any one of their 
party was cut down, they took his body and carried 
it into Anandpur. In one of these sorties a Sikh 
fainted. The Muhammadans seized him, cut off his 
hair, made him eat their food and repeat their creed, 
and finally circumcised him. They then, strange to 
say, allowed him to escape, probably because they 
thought they had accomplished a sufficiently pious 
work in forcibly converting him. He informed the 
Guru of what had happened to him, and prayed to 
be received again into the Sikh fold. The Guru 
inquired if he had cohabited with a Muhammadan 
woman. He replied in the negative. The Guru then 
ordered him to prepare sacred food and distribute it 
among the Sikhs, and his reconversion should be 
complete. The Guru explained that a Sikh who 
was forcibly converted to Islam was still a Sikh, 
but that a Sikh who became a Muhammadan from 
motives of sensuality, should forfeit his happiness 
here and hereafter. 

Several of the inhabitants now deserted Anandpur 
on account of the difficulty of maintaining them- 


selves. Provisions became excessively dear, a pound 
of flour selling for a rupee. The Guru's troops, 
however, remained to endure hunger and every form 
of hardship. They had already decided to sacrifice 
their lives for him, and they could not leave him 
in this extremity. Complaints were made to his 
mother by some of the malcontents, but she only 
ventured to speak to him when her own private 
servants rebelled against their fate. She said, . ' Thy 
Sikhs who were foremost in the fight are now dying 
of hunger, and the enemy are at thy gates. Each 
of thy soldiers hath now but a quarter of a pound 
of corn daily. How can men fight on such a pit- 
tance ? Their patience is exhausted.' The Guru 
replied, ' Having obtained the order of the immor- 
tal God, my object is to increase and not diminish 
the numbers of my religion. It is by enduring 
hunger and hardships my Sikhs become strong and 

One day there was an alarm that the hillmen 
were advancing in force. The Guru having caused 
his great drum to be sounded, proceeded to the spot 
whither the assault was directed. Bullets and 
arrows poured from both sides, and the Sikhs being 
now reduced in numbers had to retreat. The Turks 
and hillmen inflicted great damage on them as they 
did so, and took from them a large quantity of 
booty. The Sikhs struggled, but their efforts were 
ineffectual against overpowering numbers. Ude 
Singh and others went to the Guru, and told him 
that the Sikhs were defeated and their property 
plundered. At this critical moment all his troops 
prayed to the Guru for protection. The Guru said 
they ought to feel no pleasure in the possession of 
wealth which was not permanent, and no sorrow 
at its departure. 

Until now the beleagured garrison had been supplied 
with water from a hill stream. This was discovered 
by Raja Ajmer Chand, and he cut off the supply. 


When the Guru was informed of this, he said the 
Satluj would for the future supply him with water, 
and the enemy should gain no advantage from the 
stream they had diverted. The Guru promised that 
water should come in time, and the name of the 
stream should be the Himaiti Nala, or stream of 

Chapter XXII 

As the siege was protracted the hardships of the 
troops and of the other inmates of Anandpur pain- 
fully increased. Rations were now reduced to less 
than a quarter of a pound of corn daily, and some- 
times none at all were served out. The Sikhs 
occasionally made foraging expeditions at night, and 
fought hard for small booty. When this was ex- 
hausted, they ground the bark of trees and converted 
it into bread. They also lived on leaves and what- 
ever fruit and flowers they could collect. It is 
related that, notwithstanding their terrible sufferings, 
they never lost heart or relaxed in the defence of 
their city. 

The enemy heard of the Sikhs' forays, and ap- 
pointed several scouts to watch their operations. 
One night, as the Sikhs sallied forth, they were 
observed and information promptly given to the 
allied army. No action, however, was taken until 
the Sikhs on their return approached the city. 
They were then attacked by both Hindus and Muham- 
madans in great numbers. The Sikhs threw down 
their bundles and determined not to die like jackals. 
' As long as there is breath in our bodies,' they 
said, ' let us wield our swords and place ourselves 
beyond the fear of transmigration.' Although they 
were faint with hunger, yet each of them killed two or 
three of the enemy. Finally overpowered by superior 
numbers, and unable to receive assistance from 


within the city, they all perished fighting to the 

The rajas now formed a plan to induce the Guru 
again to leave Anandpur. They promised that, in 
the event of his doing so, their armies would with- 
draw., and the Guru might afterwards return when- 
ever he pleased. The Guru heeded not this pro- 
posal. It was repeated several times, but the Guru 
still refused to accept it. The Sikhs never heard 
of these overtures until one day in darbar Raja 
Ajmer Chand's envoy produced his master's letter. 
Raja Ajmer Chand stated that it contained no 
deception, but was honestly intended. It would, he 
said, be well if the Guru and his troops evacuated 
the city as early as possible. They might take all 
their property with them. The Sikhs who heard 
this proposal went to the Guru's mother to urge 
it on her, and she promised to use her influence 
with him. She said, ' My son, this is a propitious 
offer. Take us with thee and leave Anandpur. I am 
thy mother, and I ask thee to obey me and seek 
shelter elsewhere. Thus shalt thou restore life to 
thy starving Sikhs. My son, fighting were perhaps 
well if we had wherewithal to maintain ourselves; 
but now we are involved in poverty and hardships 
of every description. If thou let the opportunity 
pass, it will not return again. The hillmen and the 
Turks are prepared to swear that they will grant 
us safe conduct, so it is well that we should depart. 
Moreover, Khwaja Mardud hath now arrived from 
the Emperor with a message, that he hath vowed 
to capture thee or die in the effort. All the rajas 
are on his side. Wherefore, my son, let us with- 
draw from Anandpur. There is nothing more 
precious or dearer than life.' The Guru replied, 
' Mother dear, the hillmen are idolaters and false. 
Their intellect is like that of the stones they worship. 
There is no reliance to be placed on their promises. 
The Turks are equally evil. Their very falsehood 



will destroy them all. The Khalsa shall extend 
and wreak vengeance on its enemies.' The Guru 
was unable to convince his mother or his Sikhs of 
the wisdom of the course he was following. He 
then hit on a plan by which they should be con- 
vinced that the overtures made to him had been 
treacherously intended. 

The Guru sent for Raja Ajmer Chand's Brahman 
envoy, and told him he would evacuate Anandpur 
if the allied armies would first allow the removal of 
his property. He asked for pack-bullocks for the 
purpose. These with the necessary sacks were readily 
supplied him. The Hindus swore on the salagram 
and the Muhammadans on the Quran, that they 
would not deceive him or molest his servants de 
parting with his property. The Guru then ordered 
his treasurer to collect all the old shoes, worn-out 
clothes, bones of dead animals, broken utensils, 
horse dung, and similar offal that could be found 
in the Anandpur bazar, and load the sacks there- 
with. On each sack was to be placed a piece of 
brocade to make it appear that the contents were 
valuable. To the bullocks' horns were attached 
torches, so that the excellence of the cloth with 
which the sacks were covered, and also the depar- 
ture of the bullocks might not escape the observation 
of the enemy. It was arranged that the bullocks 
with their loads were to start in the dead of night. 
Naturally, the brilliancy of the procession did not 
escape the enemy's notice, and they rejoiced like a 
parched field on receiving rain. Six thousand of them 
were in ambush to plundeF the supposed property of 
the Guru. The Sikhs on discovering this discharged 
their cannon and caused great destruction among 
the serried ranks of the Hindus and Muhammadans. 
The sacks were, however, all seized by the enemy, 
and carefully guarded until morning, as it was then 
too late to examine their contents. It was only on 
the morrow the enemy discovered the Guru's strata- 


gem, and painfully realized the fact that they had 
committed perjury for the sake of the sweepings of 
the Anandpur market-place ! The Guru availed 
himself of the incident to demonstrate his own forer 
thought and the treachery of the enemy. He told 
his troops that everything they had endured had 
been by the will of God, and he quoted Guru Nanak — 
' Happiness is a disease, the remedy for which is 

At last came an autograph letter from the Emperor 
to the Guru — ' I have sworn on the Quran not to 
harm thee. If I do, may I not find a place in God's 
court hereafter ! Cease warfare and come to me. 
If thou desire not to come hither, then go whither- 
soever thou pleasest.' The Emperor's envoy added 
on his own account, ' O Guru, all who go to the 
Emperor's court praise thee. On that account the 
Emperor feeleth certain that an interview with thee 
will add to his happiness. He hath sworn by 
Muhammad and called God to witness that he will 
not harm thee. The hill rajas have also sworn by 
the cow and called their idols to witness, that they 
will allow thee safe conduct. Bear not in mind any- 
thing that hath occurred. The attack on thine oxen 
was not prompted by any raja. The attackers have 
been generally punished, and the ringleaders are in 
prison. No one now, O true Guru, dareth do thee 
harm, wherefore evacuate the fort, at any rate for 
the present, and come with me to the Emperor. 
Thou mayest afterwards do what thou pleasest.' 
The Guru on hearing this said, ' You are all liars, 
and therefore all your empire and your glory shall 
depart. You all took oaths before this and then 
perjured yourselves. Your troops, whose business 
it was to fight, have become robbers, and therefore 
you shall all be damned.' 

The Sikhs went again to the Guru's mother to 
complain of his refusal to listen to reason. Upon 
this she told him that if he did not leave Anandpur, 



he would be deserted by his Sikhs and even by his 
family, and he would be then left alone to the 
mercy of the hostile armies. Some Sikhs also made 
a direct representation to him, and pleaded that 
through hunger they were unable to endure any 
longer the fatigue of the siege and the brunt of war. 
And if they were now in their weak and emaciated 
condition to make an effort to force their way 
through the enemy's ranks, they would all be inevi- 
tably massacred. They therefore advised capitulation. 

The Guru on hearing these representations said to 
his Sikhs, ' My brethren, they who leave the garrison 
now will all be killed, and I do not desire to be 
held responsible. Wherefore give me a statement 
in writing that you have totally renounced me, and 
then you may act as you please. But if, on the 
other hand, you wish to abide by my advice, I will 
support you, and the immortal God will extend His 
protecting arm over us all. Adopt whatever alter- 
native you please.' On hearing this the Sikhs and 
the Guru's mother hesitated. Her son was dear to 
her, but so was her own life. She resolved, however, 
that she would not separate from him. The Sikhs 
too felt that having vowed never to leave the Guru, 
they could not abandon him or make a formal 
declaration that he was not their Guru, and they 
were not his Sikhs. 

When the Turks and the rajas heard from the 
imperial envoy of the failure of his negotiations, 
they decided to send the Guru's mother an embassy 
with a request that she and her grandchildren 
should abandon the fort. This was in the hope that 
when the Guru found himself alone he would follow 
them. The envoy first proceeded to the Guru and 
endeavoured to persuade him to evacuate. The 
Guru replied that he could not rely on any promise 
made by the idolatrous rajas or the hypocritical 
Muhammadans. He then expatiated on the villanies 
and inherent turpitude of Aurangzeb — a man who 


had no regard for an oath, and whose god was 
money, as was apparent from his persecution of 
the King of Golkanda, against whom his operations 
were now directed. 

The envoy seeing there was no hope from the 
Guru then proceeded to the Guru's mother, and 
employed all his arguments to convince her that it 
was expedient for the Guru and his Sikhs to leave 
Anandpur — ' O lady, save thyself and all thy 
family. What will it avail thee to remain here; 
and if thou depart what harm will it do thee ? 
The Guru's Sikhs are everywhere ready to receive 
thee, and, whithersoever thou decidest to go, thou 
may est abide in happiness. This city will still be 
thy property, but leave it now and end the quarrel. 
Hundreds of thousands are waiting to behold thee. 
Explain matters to thy son and persuade him to 
obey thee. If not, then prepare to go thyself, and 
he will follow thee of his own accord. If thou listen 
not to this advice, great sufferings will result.' 
The Guru's mother promised to use all her efforts 
to persuade her son, and said she would place 
confidence in the oaths of the Turks and the hill 

The Sikhs, sore stricken with hunger, supported 
the envoy's representation. ' O true Guru, knowing 
us to be thine own, grant us the gift of life. If 
thou agree not to this, let us retire to some forest 
where the Turks cannot reach us. Here shut up 
in this fort many have died, and many more will 
die. No food can come to us from outside, and we 
have now been fighting for a long time. O great 
king, how can we who are famished with hunger 
continue to do battle. Accept our advice. Oblige 
us not to renounce thee, and expel us not from thy 
faith. If thou adhere to thine own resolve, we must 
part company, for life is dear to every one, and 
what will a dying man not do ? Nay, we pray thee 
to assist thy sect and save our lives.' 


The Guru replied; ' My brethren, waver not. I 
only desire your welfare. You know not that these 
people are deceivers and design to do us evil. If 
you hold out a little longer as you have done, you 
shall have food to your heart's content. I ask you 
to wait only three weeks.' When the Sikhs refused 
to wait so long, the Guru asked them to wait at least 
for five days, and the great God would send them 
succour. 1 The Sikhs refused to wait even a single 
day, and said it was impossible for them to do so 
in their dire distress. The Guru repeated his request, 
and said that the enemy would then retire, and 
they should all be happy. If his Sikhs were to 
leave now they would inevitably be killed. ' As 
a child,' continued the Guru, ' on seeing fire, trieth 
to grasp it while his parents restrain him, so, O dear 
Khalsa, you are rushing to your destruction, while 
I am endeavouring to save you.' 

The Sikhs replied, ' O great king, we cannot be 
in a worse plight outside the city than we are within. 
We shall all die of hunger here, and if we sally 
forth we may escape and kill some of the enemy. 
We cannot remain with thee an instant longer.' 
These arguments were recommended for adoption 
by the Guru's mother — ' My son, be not obstinate. 
It is best to leave the fort and save thy people. 
The Turks and the rajas will give thee solemn oaths 
of safe conduct, and what more can they do ? Now 
is the time, my son ; thou shalt not again have this 
opportunity If the enemy come and take the fort 
by storm, what wilt thou do ? Thy Sikhs are dying 
of hunger, and they will all soon be dead.' 

The Guru replied, ' O mother dear, thou knowest 
not the Turks and the hill rajas. I have already 
shown thee their deceit, but yet thou art not satisfied. 
Thou desirest to save thy family, but how will the 

1 The Guru was then expecting reinforcements of the Malwa Sikhs 
and hence his request for delay. In fact the reinforcements did come, 
but arrived too late for the defence of Anandpur. 


enemy allow you all to pass ? Thou thinkest what is 
good is evil, and what is evil is good.' The Guru 
then turning to the Sikhs said, ' My brethren, they 
who desire to go may now renounce me and depart.' 
On hearing this the Guru's mother was greatly dis- 
tressed, and rose and sat apart to give vent to her 
grief. The Sikhs went and sat around her. The 
Guru's wives then came forth and joined the sorrow- 
ing group. The Guru's mother, wiping away her 
tears, broke silence — ' The Guru deemeth it not 
proper to leave the fort. O holy Guru Nanak, dispel 
my sorrow, assist us now, and give my son right 
understanding that he may protect his people ! I 
have given him much advice, but he heedeth it not. 
Even if the Sikhs renounce him and depart, he 
telleth them they shall all be killed. What he saith 
is never uttered in vain, and of this I have abundant 
proof. Yet if we remain in Anandpur, the enemy 
will soon come and put us all to death.' 

The Sikhs began to reflect — ' We have spent all 
our lives in the Guru's service. How can we leave 
him now ? It is he who assisteth us both here and 
hereafter. He asketh us to remain with him for 
five days more. What will happen in five days ? 
We shall only lose our lives in vain. We will cer- 
tainly go forth. It is better to fight and die than 
to starve. We will not formally renounce the Guru. 
Were we to do so, we should incur great obloquy, 
and the seed of Sikhism would perish.' After 
much reflection and hesitation, however, the Sikhs 
changed their minds and said, ' It is better for us 
to break with him, and write a document to the 
effect that he is no more our Guru and we are no 
more his Sikhs. If we again meet him alive, we 
shall induce him to pardon us.' 

The allied armies too, hearing that the Guru's 
mother was in favour of evacuating the fort, lost 
no time in their negotiations. They called a Saiyid 
(or reputed descendant of Ali the Prophet's son-in- 


law), and a Brahman, both of whom were to swear, 
on behalf of the allied armies, solemn oaths of safe 
conduct for the Guru should he evacuate Anandpur. 
The likeness of a cow was made in flour, a salagram 
and a knife were placed in front of it, and these 
articles were sent to the Guru with a letter to the 
effect that whoever meditated evil against him, 
should be deemed a cow-killer or the worst form 
of assassin. All the Hindu chiefs put their seals to 
this letter. 

The Saiyid took the Emperor's letter and the 
Quran on his head and, accompanied by several 
Muhammadan officers, proceeded to the Guru. The 
Guru refused to listen to them. They then went 
to Mata Gujari and repeated their representations. 
They asked her to leave Anandpur, in which case 
her son would assuredly follow. She was, however, 
unable to prevail on him. Gulab Rai and Sham 
Singh (Sham Das), grandsons of Suraj Mai addressed 
the Guru and advised him to obey his mother. The 
Guru still proved obdurate. Upon this his mother 
prepared to depart with her two youngest grandsons, 
Jujhar Singh and Fatah Singh. On seeing the 
Guru's mother take her departure, the Sikhs began 
to waver in their allegiance to the Guru. Paper, 
pens, and ink were produced for those who wished 
to write letters of renunciation, and in the end only 
forty Sikhs decided to remain with their religious 
Chief and share his fortunes. The Guru told them 
that they too might desert him. They refused, and 
said that, if they did so, the service they had already 
performed for him would prove unavailing. They 
would either remain within the fort or force their 
way out as the Guru directed. The Guru then knew 
that the seed of his religion would germinate and 
flourish. He kept the deeds of renunciation, and 
also took from the envoys the documents they had 
brought. He then dismissed them and requested 
to be left alone. 


When the Guru found himself alone, he set fire 
to his tents and other inflammable articles. What 
was non-inflammable he buried in the earth. He 
now finally determined to leave Anandpur, and gave 
orders to his men that they were all to march at 
night and during the darkness proceed to the east 
as far as their strength would allow them. When 
the Guru's mother, wives, and two youngest children 
had set out, the Guru went to visit his father's 
shrine and entrusted it to one Gurbakhsh, a holy 
Udasi, telling him that he should never suffer dis- 
tress as long as he remained its custodian. 

When the Guru was ready to depart, Day a Singh 
and Ude Singh walked in front of him, the second 
batch of baptized Sikhs on his left, Muhakam Singh 
and Sahib Singh on his right. His sons Ajit Singh 
and Zorawar Singh followed with bows and arrows. 
Then came Bhai Himmat Singh carrying ammunition 
and matchlocks. Gulab Rai, Sham Singh, and other 
friends and relations of the Guru accompanied him. 
The rest of the Guru's servants and camp followers, 
about five hundred in all, brought up the rear. 

Chapter XXIII 

The Guru marched by Kiratpur and thence to Nir- 
moh. While at Nirmoh he gave Gulab Rai and 
Sham Singh a letter to the Raja of Sirmaur, which 
contained a request that he would give them a 
village to abide in. From Nirmoh the Guru and 
his party proceeded to Ropar. When the allied 
troops attacked the rear guard under Ajit Singh, 
Ude Singh asked and obtained permission to relieve 
him. The enemy surrounded and killed the daunt- 
less Ude Singh, the hero of many a desperate battle, 
the bravest of the Guru's brave warriors, believing 
that he was the Guru himself. 

The Guru sat down on the margin of a stream 


called Sarsa to await the issue of the conflict. When 
Ajit Singh delayed coming, the Guru sent Jiwan 
Singh to fetch him. Jiwan Singh was killed in the 
endeavour. Before arriving at Ropar, the Guru met 
his mother and two youngest children, and exhorted 
them to proceed quickly on their journey. A Sikh 
who resided in Dihli also met the Guru on the way, 
and asked if he could perform any service for him. 
The Guru said that he might take his family to 
Dihli. The Sikh said he had a relation in Ropar 
who would keep the Guru's family there for the 
present The Guru's mother met a Brahman, a 
native of Kheri near Sarhind, and discharged cook 
of the Guru, who offered to entertain her party, and 
she decided to take her grandsons with her and 
accept his shelter and protection. Her daughters- 
in-law remained at Ropar for the night, and next 
day set out for Dihli under the trusty Sikh's pro- 

The allied forces continued to harass the Guru's 
retreat. He left some of his men at Ropar to arrest 
their progress, and went himself with thirty-five 
chosen Sikhs towards Chamkaur. On the way at 
a place called Baru Majara he received information 
that a fresh contingent of the imperial army was close 
at hand to capture him. In no wise dismayed he 
continued his journey towards Chamkaur. On 
arriving near that town he took refuge in a garden, 
and was joined by five of the Sikhs he had left at 
Ropar. All the others had been slain. 

The Guru sent to a J at agriculturist to ask him 
for a place of rest. The J at tried to put him off 
with excuses, but the Guru placed him under arrest 
for the moment. He then took the Jat's house, 
and turned it into a miniature fort where he 
took shelter with his men. The allied forces could 
find no trace of him, and were much distressed 
at his disappearance. But the troops marching 
from Dihli discovered the Guru's residence and 


proceeded thither. The united forces now con- 
centrated their attack on the Guru and were joined 
by his ancient enemies the Ranghars and Gujars. 

The Guru then addressed his men, ' You would 
not listen to my advice to remain in Anandpur. 
When you took your departure, you did not calcu- 
late that this time of peril would ever arrive. 
You trusted to the oaths of Muhammadans on the 
Quran and of the hillmen on their gods and cows, 
and this is the result. There is no opportunity now 
of employing the traditional means of dealing with 
enemies. We can only defend ourselves. There are 
hundreds of thousands against us. Die not the 
death of jackals, but fight bravely as you have 
hitherto done, and avenge the deceit practised by 
those great sinners. The more you strive, the 
greater shall be your reward. If you fall fighting 
you shall meet me as martyrs in heaven. If you 
conquer you shall obtain sovereignty, and in either 
case your lot shall be envied by mortals.' 

Having thus addressed his Sikhs, the Guru 
appointed eight men to guard each of the four walls* 
of his extemporized fort. Kotha Singh and Madan 
Singh held the door, he himself, his two sons, 
Daya Singh and Sant Singh the top story. Alim 
Singh and Man Singh were appointed sentinels. 
Thus was made up the number of forty who accom- 
panied the Guru. Five Sikhs went forth to contend 
with the enemy. After fighting with great bravery 
they were killed. Then Khazan Singh, Dan Singh, 
and Dhyan Singh went forth, and after killing 
several of the enemy, were killed themselves. The 
brave Muhakam Singh, following the example of his 
fellows, went forth and fell pierced by scores of 

While the Guru was lauding Muhakam Singh's 
valour, and saying that he should be emancipated, 
Himmat Singh, who was one of the first Sikhs bap- 
tized, asked permission to go forth to repel the 


enemy. When he was slain the second batch of five 
Sikhs baptized by the Guru went forth, and sold 
their lives dearly Ishar Singh and Deva Singh were 
the next to contend with the Muhammadans. While 
these were alive and fought, the enemy thought 
they were endowed with supernatural power. 

Daya Singh and others prayed the Guru to escape 
by some means, and leave them to contend with 
the enemy. If the Guru were saved, the seed of 
religion would remain. Six more of the Guru's 
warriors, Muhar Singh, Kirat Singh, Anand Singh, 
Lai Singh, Kesar Singh, and Amolak Singh asked 
permission to go forth and try their strength with 
the Turks. The six brave warriors were all killed. 
Nahar Khan, one of the recently arrived imperial 
officers, attempted to scale the little fort, but was 
shot down by the Guru. Ghairat Khan, another 
officer of the new army, then advanced, and was 
also slain by the Guru. After this none of the 
Muhammadan officers had the courage to attempt 
the fatal ascent. They formed a plan, however to 
rush and seize the Guru. In this they utterly failed, 
for the Guru shot them down in numbers and held 
at bay the multitudinous Muhammadan host. 

The Guru's son Ajit Singh now asked permission 
to go forth and fight single-handed with the enemy. 
He said he was the Guru's Sikh and son, and it was 
incumbent on him to fight even under desperate 
circumstances. The Guru approved of this proposal. 
Ajit Singh took with him five heroes, namely, Alim 
Singh, Jawahir Singh, Dhyan Singh, Sukha Singh, 
and Bir Singh. Ajit Singh performed prodigies of 
valour, and Muhammadans fell before him as shrubs 
before the wind His companions all fought bravely 
and desperately Zabardast Khan, the Lahore vice- 
roy, was greatly distressed on seeing so many of 
his men slain, and called on his army to at once 
destroy the handful of Sikhs who were causing 
such havoc in the imperial ranks. When the 


swords of the Sikhs were broken and their arrows 
spent, they spitted the enemy with their spears. 
A jit Singh broke his spear on a Muhammadan. The 
enemy then made a fresh attack and fatally wounded 
him, defenceless as he was. He realized, however, 
that he had acted as befitted his race. He fell and 
slept the sleep of peace on his gory bed. The Guru 
on his death said, ' 0 God, it is Thou who sentest 
him, and he hath died fighting for his faith. The 
trust Thou gavest hath been restored to Thee.' 
The five Sikhs who accompanied him were also slain. 

Zorawar Singh, the Guru's second son, on seeing 
his brother's fate could not restrain himself, and 
asked his father's permission to go forth and fight 
as Ajit Singh had done and avenge his death. The 
youth took five more Sikhs with him and proceeded 
to commit havoc among the enemy. The chronicler 
states that Zorawar Singh made his way through 
the Muhammadan army as a crocodile through a 
stream. The enemy dropped like rain in the month 
of Sawan and Bhadon, until Zorawar Singh and his 
five companions fell overpowered by numbers. 

His remaining Sikhs, seeing that all hope was at 
an end, again advised the Guru to effect his escape. 
He agreed, seated near him Daya Singh, Dharm 
Singh, Man Singh, Sangat Singh, and Sant Singh, 
who alone remained of the army, and proceeded to 
entrust the Guruship to them. He said, ' I shall 
ever be among five Sikhs. Wherever there are five 
Sikhs of mine assembled they shall be priests of 
all priests. Wherever there is a sinner, five Sikhs 
can give him baptism and absolution. Great is the 
glory of five Sikhs, and whatever they do shall not 
be in vain. They who give food and clothing to 
five Sikhs, shall obtain from them the fulfilment of 
their desires.' Saying this the Guru circumam- 
bulated them three times, laid his plume and crest 
in front of them, offered them his arms, and cried 
out, ' Sri Wahguru ji ka Khalsa ! Sri Waghuru ji 


ki fatah ! ' Sant Singh and Sangat Singh offered to 
remain in the fort while Day a Singh, Dharm Singh, 
and Man Singh determined to accompany the Guru. 
The Guru gave his plume to Sant Singh, clothed 
him in his armour, and seated him in the upper 
room which he was about to vacate. The Guru and 
his three companions escaped during the night. He 
told them, if perchance they separated from him, 
they were to go in the direction of a certain star 
which he indicated. 

When the Guru was escaping he bade his men 
stand firm. He said he was going to awaken the 
enemy, so that they might not say he had absconded. 
The Turkish sentries were immediately on the alert. 
He discharged two arrows at them. The arrows at 
first struck torches which they held in their hands 
and then passed through their bodies. In the 
darkness, which followed the extinction of the 
lamps, the Guru and his companions escaped, but 
did not travel together. He proceeded barefooted 
on his journey, and on becoming tired sat down to 
rest, on the margin of a lake in the Machhiwara 
forest between Ropar and Ludhiana. 

Sant Singh and Sangat Singh, who were left behind 
in the little fort, inflicted great loss on the enemy. 
The Muhammadans, however, succeeded in scaling 
the building and believed they were going at last 
to capture the Guru whose plume and arrow Sant 
Singh wore. Khwaja Mardud gave orders that Sant 
Singh and Sangat Singh should be beheaded and 
their heads sent to regale the Emperor's eyes. The 
Muhammadans were much disappointed to subse- 
quently learn that Sant Singh was not the Guru, 
and that the Guru had escaped. They sent men to 
the known abodes of all faqirs in the country to 
search for him, but in vain. 

After this the armies dispersed. Zabardast Khan 
who was wounded in the recent battle retired to 
his viceroyalty of Lahore. Wazir Khan departed 


for Sarhind, and Khwaja Mardud went with the 
remnant of his army to reinforce the Emperor who 
was still campaigning in the south of India. 

The Guru's three Sikhs followed the star he had 
pointed out to them, and they all four met at the 
place now called Bir Guru in the Machhiwara forest. 
His Sikhs found him sleeping with a waterpot for his 
pillow. They awakened him and told him that the 
Muhammadan army would probably be on them by 
daybreak. The Guru said he could not save him- 
self, as his feet were blistered. He told the Sikhs 
that they might seek shelter in a neighbouring 
garden. Man Singh took the Guru on his back and 
proceeded thither. The Guru found there a Sikh 
called Gulaba, who treated him and his faithful 
attendants with kindness and hospitality. 

Gulaba gave the Guru shelter in a top story 
which he had recently built to his house. The Guru 
wanted meat the next day, and a he-goat was pro- 
vided for him which he killed by shooting. Gulaba 
was alarmed lest some of the neighbouring Brahmans 
and Saiyids might have heard the report of the gun. 
As a matter of fact one Brahman did hear it, and 
suspected the presence of the Guru in the village. 
He looked and saw the Guru on the top story of 
Gulaba's house. It turned out, however, that the 
Brahman was friendly. He had previously visited 
the Guru in Anandpur and enjoyed his hospitality. 
He now in return put some sweets and a sacrificial 
thread of the Hindus on a plate, and sent them as 
an offering to the Guru. The offering of the sacri- 
ficial thread was a delicate hint to the Guru that 
the Brahman would like to lead him back to the 
ancient religion of India. The Guru returned the 
sweets and the thread with a present of five gold 
muhars from himself. Gulaba consulted with his 
brother as to the disposal of the Guru. They feared 
for their own safety should it be further known that 
he was among them. 


To Gulaba's house now came two Muhammadans, 
Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan, who had previously 
known and visited the Guru. On hearing that the 
imperial troops were scouring the country in quest 
of him, they determined to go and offer him their 
humble services. The Guru requested them to 
remain with him, and they readily consented. 

Gulaba and his family spent an anxious night. 
In the early morning he waited on the Guru with 
a present of five gold muhars, which he meant as 
a parting offering. He represented the danger he 
had incurred in entertaining his guest, and begged 
him to take compassion on him and arrange for his 

It happened that while the Guru was in Gulaba's 
house a Sikh woman also came to visit him. She 
had previously seen him and vowed that she would 
spin and weave cloth for him, which she would keep 
until his arrival in her village. The Guru had the 
cloth dyed blue, and a robe and sheet made from 
it in imitation of the dress of a Muhammadan pil- 
grim. He then departed from Gulaba's village. He 
was borne on a litter which Ghani Khan and Nabi 
Khan lifted in front, and Man Singh and Dharm 
Singh in rear, while Daya Singh waved a chauri 
over him. They informed all inquirers that they 
were escorting Uch ka Pir. The expression Uch ka 
Pir meant either high priest as a general religious 
title, or priest of Uch, a well-known Muhammadan 
city in the southern part of the Panjab. The Guru 
and his carriers on arriving at Lai in the Patiala 
State accidentally came on a detachment of the 
imperial army which had been searching for him. 
The general suspected that the pilgrim was no other 
than the Guru, and determined to make trial of 
him by what he ate. A sumptuous dinner was pre- 
pared for the party. The Guru told his Sikhs that 
they might eat what the Musalman cooks had 
prepared, and they did so after touching the food 


with their swords. A friendly Saiyid from Nurpur 
near Machhiwara who was at the time an officer in 
the detachment, stated that the Guru was really 
Uch ka Pir. Upon this the general gave an order 
for the Guru's immediate release. 

Chapter XXIV 

The Guru no longer travelled with the imperial 
army, but proceeded to Kanech in the eastern part 
of what is now the Ludhiana district. There one 
Fatah came to pay him his respects and ask if he 
could do him any service. The Guru asked for his 
best mare to aid him in his escape. Fatah, who had 
not been sincere in his protestations of friendship, 
put him off with excuses. It is said that when he 
left the Guru and went home, he found the mare 
had died of snake- bite. This was understood to be the 
result of his hypocrisy and churlishness to the Guru. 

The Guru thence proceeded to Hehar, also in the 
Ludhiana district, where lived Kripal, the Udasi 
Mahant who had so distinguished himself in the 
battle of Bhangani. The Guru on meeting him dis- 
missed Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan, after giving 
them presents and a letter recommending them to 
the consideration of the faithful. Though Kripal 
had been previously so devoted to the Guru, he 
now feared to entertain him lest the Muhammadans 
should be informed that he was sheltering an out- 
law. He accordingly advised the Guru to move on 
towards the villages of Lamma and Jatpura. 

On the way thither the Guru met a Muhammadan 
called Kalha, a rich and important person who was 
Chaudhri of Jagraon and Raikot, two considerable 
towns of the Ludhiana district. Kalha entertained 
him at Jatpura. The Guru requested him to send 
a messenger to Sarhind to inquire the fate of his 
mother and his two youngest sons. The Guru 

SIKH, v O 


remained at Jatpura until the messenger's return. 
Jatpura is about fifty miles distant from Sarhind. 
This distance the messenger is said to have traversed 
in an incredibly short space of time. 

The following is the messenger's story, one of the 
most painful in history. It has been already stated 
that the Guru's mother entrusted herself and the 
two grandsons, who accompanied her, to a Brahman. 
He with sweet words took them to his house and 
induced them to put faith in him. When the Guru's 
mother went to sleep, he stole her money, which 
she carried in a saddle-bag and buried it. He then 
went to her and told her there were several thieves 
prowling about the neighbourhood, and she must be 
careful of her valuables. He said he gave her this 
information so that she might not afterwards blame 
him. She called her servant and told him what she 
had heard. He almost immediately afterwards in- 
formed her that her saddle-bag was missing. As no 
one had entered the house but the lady's party and 
the Brahman, she interrogated the latter on the 
subject. He pretended to be furious at suspicion 
having been directed against him, and said that 
that was the result of doing good and of enter- 
taining homeless wayfarers and outlaws. He had 
saved the Guru's mother and children from death, 
and the return they made him for his trouble and 
hospitality was to charge him with theft as if he 
were a vulgar malefactor. Then saying that he 
could not trust her and her children, he ordered 
them to leave his house. 

The Brahman with loud cries proceeded to the 
Chaudhri, or chief civil official of Kheri, and in- 
formed him that the Guru's mother and sons had 
just come to his house, and both he and. the Chaudhri. 
would obtain a large reward for delivering them to 
the imperial authorities. The Brahman and the 
Chaudhri then went to the next highest official, a 
Ranghar, the governor of Murinda. He proceeded 


with them to the Brahman's house, and thence they 
took the Guru's mother and her two grandsons to 
Wazir Khan, Viceroy of Sarhind. He ordered 
them to be confined in a tower. People thronged 
next day to see them, and cursed and abused 
the treacherous Brahman to their hearts' content. 
Wazir Khan ordered the children to be brought 
before him. When the Guru's mother heard the 
order, it stung her like a sharp arrow. 

One Suchanand Khatri, who had vainly sued for 
one of the Guru's sons as a husband for his daughter, 
now came forward and said the children were cer- 
tainly the progeny of the serpent, that is, sons of 
the Guru, and that when they grew up they would 
be as destructive as their father. The governor of 
Murinda told Mata Gujari, in order to pacify her, 
that he would send the children back after showing 
them to Wazir Khan. Not believing him, she put 
one of them at each side ol her, and tried to conceal 
them with her dress. The Guru's son Jujhar Singh 
on hearing the Ranghar's voice stood up and said 
to his grandmother, ' The Turks have ever been our 
enemies. How can we escape from them ? There- 
fore let us go to the viceroy.' Saying this he took 
his younger brother Fatah Singh and went with the 
Ranghar. When they reached the viceroy's court, 
the Ranghar, in order to add to their sufferings, 
told them that their father, their two eldest brothers, 
and their companions had all been killed in Cham- 
kaur. He added, ' Your only hope of escape now 
is to bow before the Viceroy and accept Islam ; 
and perhaps he will spare your lives.' 

Jujhar Singh when confronted with the viceroy 
thus addressed him : ' My father, the holy Guru 
Gobind Singh is not dead. Who can kill him ? He 
is protected by the immortal God. If any one say 
that he can tear down heaven, how is that possible ? 
Were a storm to attempt to drive a mountain before 
it, could it ever do so ? Were any one to try to 


grasp the sun and moon, it would be a feat im- 
possible to accomplish. Were the Guru to desire it, 
he could destroy every trace of you, but he deemeth 
it his first duty to obey the laws of heaven. When 
we have dedicated our heads to our father who is 
such a Guru, why should we bow them before a 
false and deceitful sinner ? ' On hearing this the 
people all cried out that the children ought to be 
allowed to go unharmed. The misnamed Suchanand 
now interposed, and repeated that these were the 
offspring of a cobra, and from their heads to their 
feet filled with venom. ' See my friends,' he said, 
' they have not the least fear, and are so proud that 
they even insult and defy the Viceroy'. 

Wazir Khan then reflected that if the children 
became Muhammadans, it would be a gain and glory 
to his faith. He told them that, if they would 
accept his faith, he would grant them an estate, 
marry them to the daughters of chiefs, and they 
would become happy and be honoured by the 
Emperor. Jujhar Singh then looking at his younger 
brother said, ' My brother, the time to sacrifice our 
lives, as our grandfather Guru Teg Bahadur did, 
hath now arrived. What thinkest thou ? ' Fatah 
Singh replied, ' Brother dear, our grandfather parted 
with his head but not with his religion, and he 
ordered us to follow his example. Now that we have 
received the baptism of the spirit and the sword, 
what care we for death ? Wherefore it is best that 
we should give our lives, thus save the Sikh religion, 
and bring down God's vengeance on the Turks.' 

Jujhar Singh again spoke on the same subject : 
' My brother, our grandfather Guru Teg Bahadur 
spurned the Muhammadan religion. Here is this 
noble family of ours — a man like Guru Gobind Singh 
our father, a man like Guru Teg Bahadur our grand- 
father, a man like Guru Har Gobind our great- 
grandfather. We, who are their descendants, can- 
not attach a stigma to their memories.' The young 


boy waxing still more angry, continued, ' Hear, O 
viceroy, I spurn thy religion and will not part with 
mine own. It hath become the custom of our family 
to forfeit life rather than faith. O fool, why seekest 
thou to tempt us with worldly ambition i We will 
never be led astray by the false advantages thou 
offerest. The indignities inflicted by the Turks on 
our grandfather shall be the fire to consume them, 
and our deaths the wind to fan the flame. In this 
way we shall destroy the Turks without forfeiting 
our holy faith.' 

The Muhammadan viceroy could not endure out- 
spokenness of this description, and, in the words of the 
chronicler, began to burn like sand in a fiery furnace. 
He said he must put the children to death. They 
had no fear of any one, and their words were liable 
to cause disaffection and religious apathy in others. 
Suchanand was ready to support the viceroy, and 
suggested additional reasons for putting the children 
to death. He said they had spoken insolently 
before the Viceroy, and when they grew up they 
would follow their father's example and destroy 
armies. What good could be expected from them ? 
They would L^, always exciting revolts. They were 
prisoners with no right of pardon ; and, if they 
were released, no one knew what they would do. 
There were no means for their repression but death. 

Then out spoke the Nawab of Maler Kotla, ' O 
Viceroy, these children are still drinking milk in the 
nursery, and are too young to commit an offence. 
They know not good from evil. Wherefore be 
pleased to allow them to depart.' This representa- 
tion the Viceroy heeded not, but cast about for some 
one to kill the children. His servants who were 
present said they were willing to sacrifice their lives 
for him, but they were not executioners. He turned 
to right and left, but all his staff hung down their 
heads in token of refusal and pity for the children. 
At last looking behind him he espied a Ghilzai who, 


with the cruelty of his race, offered to do the san- 
guinary deed. It is a general belief among the Sikhs 
that the children were bricked into a wall and suffered 
to die in that position, but the authors of the Suraj 
Parkash and of the Guy Bilas both state that 
the children were put to death in the order of their 
ages by the sword of the Ghilzai executioner. They 
vied with each other as to who should first have 
the honour of martyrdom. The two children Jujhar 
Singh and Fatah Singh, aged nine and seven years 
respectively, perished on the 13th of Poh, Sambat 
1762 (a. d. 1705). 

A rich Sikh called Todar Mai, as soon as he heard 
of the imprisonment of the Guru's children, hastened 
to the viceroy with the intention of ransoming them, 
but arrived too late. The children had been already 
put to death. He then proceeded to the Guru's 
mother Mata Gujari, who had not yet heard of the 
execution of her grandchildren, but was at the same 
time suffering extreme mental agony. She every 
now and again would pray to the Gurus to protect 
her little ones : ' O Guru Nanak, may no hair of 
my grandchildren's heads be touched! O my son, 
Guru Gobind Singh, pardon my sins and protect 
me now ! Woe is me ! I know not what may happen 
to my grandchildren to-day.' Todar Mai sought 
to break the sad intelligence to her, but his voice 
was stifled in his throat. On seeing this, Mata 
Gujari became extremely alarmed, and standing up 
at once said, ' Tell me the truth. Why art thou 
sorrowful ? When will they allow my grandsons to 
return, and what questions have they put them ? ' 
Todar Mai then strengthening his resolve, addressed 
her : ' I have made my heart harder than a stone, 
and come to tell thee of the death of thy grand- 
children. O mother, the light of thine eyes, the 
support of the world, the life of the Sikhs, the 
darlings of the Guru have been to-day massacred 
by the Turks.' On receiving this news Mata Gujari 


SIKH V P. ion 


was struck down as if a mountain had fallen on her. 
Todar Mai began to fan her in her swoon with the 
skirt of his dress. 

On recovering consciousness to some extent she 
began to call upon her grandsons, ' O Jujhar Singh, 

0 Fatah Singh, after such love for me whither have 
you gone ? Take me with you. Who will call now me 
mother or grandmother ? Who will come and sit cn 
my lap ? How shall I now behold you ? O youthful 
warriors, light of my courtyard, sun of my family, 

1 know not what your sufferings must have been 
to-day. O my grandchildren, on whom I have 
never turned my back even when asleep. To-day, 
alas ! alas ! the Muhammadan tyrants have killed 
you, the darlings of mine eyes, my beautiful ones. 
I concealed my grandsons from the gaze of others, 
and behold what hath happened to-day ! What 
have I done to you, O children, that you should 
have abandoned me to misery ? ' Saying this, she 
fell heavily to the ground, and gave up her spirit. 
Todar Mai cremated the bodies of the Guru's mother 
and her grandchildren, and buried their ashes. 1 A 
Sikh temple, now called Fatahgarh. was subse- 
quently erected on the spot. 

When the Turks heard that the Brahman who 
had betrayed the Guru's mother and children 
possessed much wealth, they arrested him and all 
his family, and forced him by torture to tell where 
he had concealed his treasure. He pointed out the 
spot where he had buried Mata Gujari's money, but 
it was not found there. The Turks believing that 
he was only deceiving them continued to torture 
him until his soul took flight to the infernal regions. 

While the Guru was listening to the narrative, he 
was digging up a shrub with his knife. He said, 
' As I dig up this shrub by the roots, so shall the 
Turks be extirpated.' He inquired if any one 

1 In the Suraj Parkash it is stated that it was Tilok Singh and 
Ram Singh who cremated the bodies of the Guru's mother and sons. 


except the Nawab of Maler Kotla had spoken on 
behalf of the children. The messenger replied in 
the negative. The Guru then said that after the 
roots of the oppressive Turks were all dug up, the 
roots of the Nawab should still remain. His Sikhs 
should one day come and lay Sarhind waste. 

Before the Guru had set out from Jatpura he pre- 
sented his host Kalha with a sword to preserve in 
memory of him. He was to honour it with incense 
and flowers. As long as he did so, he and his family 
should flourish, but, if ever he wore it, he should 
lose his possessions. Kalha during his lifetime 
treated the sword according to the Guru's injunc- 
tions, and so did his son after him. But his grand- 
son put on the weapon, and employed it in the 
chase. In endeavouring to kill a deer with it he 
struck his own thigh and died of the wound. The 
author of the Suraj Parkash wrote that this incident 
actually occurred when he was a boy, and he still 
remembered it. 

Chapter XXV 

The Guru continued his retreat from the Turks, 
and proceeded on his litter from Jatpura to Dina. 
On the way he met a Sikh who presented him with 
a horse and saddle. On arriving at Dina, the Guru 
met Shamira, Lakhmira, and Takht Mai, grandsons 
of Jodh Rai, who had rendered material assistance 
to Guru Har Gobind in the battle of Gurusar. Jodh 
Rai's family at first lived at Kangar. His grand- 
sons had now left that village and gone to Dina. 
The Guru represented to the young men that they 
incurred danger in entertaining him, but they felt 
no apprehension, and gave him hospitable treatment. 
While there the Guru gathered some fighting men to 
his standard. 

During the Guru's stay at Dina he was visited 
by Parm Singh and Dharm Singh, descendants of 


Bhai Rupa, of whom mention has been made in the 
life of the sixth Guru. Parm Singh and Dharm 
Singh made the Guru an offering of a horse and 
a dress. The Guru took special notice of Shamira, 
and gave him the horse and the dress which Parm 
Singh and Dharm Singh had presented him. The 
Guru told Shamira that he should own land as far 
as he could course his steed. Shamira mentioned 
this in his household. His maternal uncle laughed 
at the Guru's promise, and said that if the Guru 
had been able to work miracles, he would not now 
be a fugitive. Shamira was partially convinced by 
this argument, and merely coursed his steed round 
his own village. As the result of his want of faith, 
he only remained in possession of the land within 
the circle he thus described. 

The Viceroy of Sarhind heard that the Guru was 
being entertained by Shamira and his brothers in 
Dina. He wrote to Shamira on the subject, and 
ordered him under pain of his highest displeasure 
to arrest and surrender the Guru. Shamira replied 
that he was only entertaining his priest, as the 
Viceroy himself or any one else might do. The Guru 
was merely visiting his Sikhs and molesting no one. 
While sending this reply, Shamira feared that the 
Viceroy would send troops and arrest the Guru, so 
he sent a spy to obtain information of the Viceroy's 
movements and proceedings'. The Viceroy kept troops 
ready, but did not send them immediately. Mean- 
while the Guru enlisted several men and prepared 
for his defence. The Guru's stay at Dina appears 
to have been somewhat protracted, for it was there 
he wrote his celebrated Zafarnama', or Persian 
epistle to Aurangzeb. It begins, as usual in such 
compositions, with an 

Invocation to God 

1 0 Thou perfect in miracles, eternal, beneficent, Bestower 
of grace, maintenance, salvation, and mercy ; Dispenser 


of bliss, Pardoner, Saviour, Remitter of sins, dear to the 
heart, King of kings, Bestower of excellence, Indicator of 
the way, without colour and without equal, Lord, who 
giveth heavenly bliss to him who hath no property, no 
retinue, no army, and no comforts. Distinct from the 
world, powerful, whose light is everywhere diffused, Thou 
bestowest gifts as if Thou wert present in person. Pure 
Cherisher, Bestower of favours, Thou art merciful, and 
Provider of sustenance in every land. Thou art Lord of 
every clime, the greatest of the great. Perfect in beauty, 
merciful, Master of knowledge, Support of the unhappy, 
Protector of the Faith, Fountain of eloquence, Searcher of 
hearts, Author of revelation, Appreciator of wisdom, Lord 
of intelligence, Diviner of secrets, Omnipresent God, 
Thou knowest the affairs of the world. Thou resolvest its 
difficulties, Thou art its great Organizer. 

Address to Aurangzeb 

' I have no faith in thine oath to which thou tookest the 
one God as witness. I have not a particle of confidence in 
thee. Thy treasurer and thy ministers are all false. He who 
putteth faith in thine oath on the Quran is thereby a ruined 
man. The insolent crow cannot touch him who hath 
fallen under the shadow of the huma. He who taketh the 
protection of a powerful tiger cannot be approached by 
a goat, a buffalo, or a deer. Had I even secretly sworn on 
the volume of my choice faith to accept thy religion, I 
should not have had to withdraw my infantry and cavalry 
from Anandpur. 1 

< As to my defeat at Chamkaur, what could forty men do 
when a hundred thousand came on them unawares ? The 
oath-breakers attacked them abruptly with swords, arrows, 
and muskets. I was constrained to engage in the combat, 
and I fought to the utmost of my ability. When an affair 
passeth beyond the region of diplomacy, it is lawful to 
have recourse to the sword. Had I been able to repose 

1 The preceding part of this address, refers to Anandpur; what 
follows to Chamkaur. 


confidence in thine oath on the Quran, I would not have 
abandoned my city. Had I not known that thou wert 
crafty and deceitful as a fox, I would never on any account 
have come hither. He who cometh to me and sweareth on the 
Quran ought not to kill or imprison me. Thine army came 
clothed like blue-bottles, and all of a sudden charged with a 
loud shout. Every soldier of thine who advanced beyond his 
defences to attack my position, fell deluged in blood. Thy 
troops who had committed no aggression received no injury at 
our hands. When I saw that Nahar Khan entered the fight, 
I quickly gave him the taste of my arrow. Many soldiers who 
came with him and boasted of their prowess ignominiously 
deserted the field of battle. Another Afghan officer ad- 
vanced like a rushing flood, an arrow, or a musket ball. 
He made many assaults, received many wounds and at last, 
while in the act of killing two of my Sikhs, was killed himself. 
Khwaja Mardud remained behind a wall and came not 
forth like a man. Had I but seen his face, I would certainly 
have bestowed an arrow on him too. At last many were 
killed on both sides by showers of arrows and bullets, and 
the earth became red as a rose. Heads and legs lay in 
heaps as if the field were covered with balls and hockey- 
sticks. The whizzing of arrows, the twanging of bows, 
and a universal hubbub reached the sky. Men, the bravest 
of the brave, fought like madmen. But how could forty 
even of the bravest succeed when opposed by a countless 
host ? When the lamp of day was veiled, the queen of night 
came forth in all her splendour, and God who protected me 
showed me the way to escape from mine enemies. There 
was not a hair of my head touched, nor did I in any way 

' Did I not know that thou, O faithless man, wert a wor- 
shipper of wealth and perjurer ? Thou keepest no faith and 
observest no religion. Thou knowest not God, and believest 
not in Muhammad. He who hath regard for his religion 
never swerveth from his promise. Thou hast no idea of what 
an oath on the Quran is, and canst have no belief in Divine 
Providence. Wert thou to take a hundred oaths on the 
Quran, I would not -even then trust thee in the slightest. 


Hadst thou any intention of keeping thine oath, thou 
wouldst have girded up thy loins and come to me. When 
thou didst swear by Muhammad and called the word of 
God to witness, it was incumbent on thee to observe that 
oath. Were the Prophet himself present here, I would 
make it my special object to inform him of thy treachery. 
Do what is incumbent on thee, and adhere to thy written 
promise. Thou shouldst have cheerfully fulfilled it, and 
also the verbal promises of thine envoy. Everybody ought 
to be a man of his word, and not utter one thing while he 
meditateth another. Thou didst promise to abide by the 
words of thy qazi. If thou hast spoken truly, then come 
to me. If thou desire to seal thy promise on the Quran, 
I will gladly send it to thee for the purpose. If thou come 
to the village of Kangar, we shall have an interview. Thou 
shalt not run the slightest danger on the way, for the whole 
tribe of Bairars 1 are under me. Come to me that we may 
speak to each other, and that I may utter kind words to 

' I am a slave and servant of the King of kings, and ready 
to obey His order with my life. Should His order reach 
me, I will go to thee with all my heart. If thou have any 
belief in God, delay not in this matter. It is thy duty to 
know God. He never ordered thee to annoy others. Thou 
art seated on an emperor's throne, yet how strange are 
thy justice/ thine attributes and thy regard for religion ! 
Alas a hundred times ! alas for thy sovereignty ! Strange, 
strange is thy decree ! Promises not meant to be fulfilled 
injure those who make them. Smite not any one mer- 
cilessly with the sword, or a sword from on high shall 
smite thyself. O man, be not reckless, fear God, He can- 
not be flattered or praised. The King of kings is without 
fear. He is the true Emperor of earth and heaven. God 
is the master of both worlds. He is the Creator of all 
animals from the feeble ant to the powerful elephant. He 
is the Protector of the miserable and Destroyer of the reck- 
less. His name is the Support of the unhappy. It is He 
who showeth man the way he ought to go. Thou art bound 
1 From whom the Phulkian chiefs and people are descended. 


by thine oath on the Quran. Bring the matter to a good issue 
according to thy promises. It is incumbent on thee to act 
wisely, and be discreet in all thine actions. What though 
my four sons were killed, I remain behind like a coiled 1 
snake. What bravery is it to quench a few sparks of life ? 
Thou art merely exciting a raging fire the more. How well 
spoke the sweet-tongued Firdausi, 2 " Haste is the devil's 
work ! " I would have gone many times to thee had thy 
promise been kept when the bullocks were plundered. As 
thou didst forget thy word on that day, so will God forget 
thee. God will grant thee the fruit of the evil deed thou 
didst design. It is good to act according to thy religion, and 
to know that God is dearer than life. I do not deem thou 
knowest God, since thou hast done acts of oppression. 
Wherefore the great God knoweth thee not, and will not 
receive thee with all thy wealth. Hadst thou sworn a 
hundred times on the Quran, I would not have trusted 
thee in the slightest even for a moment. I will not enter 
thy presence, nor travel on the same road with thee, but, 
if God so will it, I will proceed towards thee. 

' Fortunate art thou Aurangzeb, king of kings, expert 
swordsman and rider. Handsome is thy person, and intelli- 
gent art thou. Emperor and ruler of the country, thou art 
clever to administer thy kingdom, and skilled to wield 
the sword. Thou art generous to thy co-religionists, and 
prompt to crush thine enemies. Thou art the great dis- 
penser of kingdoms and wealth. Thy generosity is profuse, 
and in battle thou art firm as a mountain. Exalted is thy 
position ; thy loftiness is as that of the Pleiades. Thou 
art king of kings, and ornament of the thrones of the world. 
Thou art monarch of the world, but far from thee is religion. 

' I wanted to kill the hillmen who were full of strife. They 
worshipped idols, and I was an idol-breaker.- Behold the 
power of the good and pure God who by means of one man 
killed hundreds of thousands. What can an enemy do when 

1 Pechida, twisted, convoluted. The more coils a snake has the 
more poison it contains. The Guru here distinctly threatens the 

2 A famous Persian poet, author of the Shah-i-Nama. 


God the Friend is kind ? His function it is, as the great 
Bestower, to bestow. He giveth deliverance and pointeth 
out the way to His creatures. He teacheth the tongue to 
utter His praises. In the hour of action he blindeth the 
enemy. He rescueth the helpless and protecteth them from 
injury. The Merciful showeth mercy to him who acteth 
honestly. God bestoweth peace on him who heartily per- 
formed His service. How can an enemy lead astray him 
with whom the Guide of the way is well pleased ? Should 
tens of thousands proceed against such a person, the Creator 
will be his guardian. When thou lookest to thine army and 
wealth, I look to God's praises. Thou art proud of thine 
empire, while I am proud of the kingdom of the immortal 
God. Be not heedless ; this caravansary is only for a few 
days. People leave it at all times. Behold the revolution 
which passeth over every denizen and house in this faithless 
world. Even though thou art strong, annoy not the weak. 
Lay not the axe to thy kingdom. When God is a friend, 
what can an enemy do even though he multiply himself 
a hundred times ? If an enemy practise enmity a thousand 
times, he cannot, as long as God is a friend, injure even a hair 
of one's head.' 

The Guru sent the above to the Emperor by 
Daya Singh and Dharm Singh, who had survived 
the battle of Chamkaur and escaped to Dina with 
the Guru. They disguised themselves as Muham- 
madan pilgrims, and proceeded on their journey to 
the south of India. On reaching Dihli they took 
she ter in the Sikh temple and received the visits 
of several admiring Sikhs. Next morning they set 
out for Agra. Thence they crossed the river Cham- 
bal and proceeded to Ujjain, whence they crossed 
the Narbada and travelled by Burhanpur to Auran- 
gabad. Thence they proceeded to Ahmadnagar, 
where the Emperor was encamped. There Daya 
Singh and Dharm Singh met a Sikh called Jetha 
Singh, who told them it would be very difficult for 
them to obtain an audience of the Emperor. They 


said it did not matter, and asked him to summon 
all the Sikhs who were there to meet them and hear 
their story. Daya Singh and Dharm Singh told the 
Sikhs of their mission, and read a letter specially 
addressed to them by the Guru. 

Chapter XXVI 

Meanwhile the Guru was preparing for his defence 
at Dina, but in order that the innocent villagers 
might not suffer from warlike operations directed 
against him, he pitched his tent in the neighbouring 
forest. It would appear that he approached, if he 
did not actually enter, the present village of Jalal, 
for it is recorded that the inhabitants of that village 
gave him supplies and a lance for defence. They 
complained that the inhabitants of a neighbouring 
village bore them enmity. There were always affrays 
between the two villages, and the inhabitants of 
Jalal were always worsted. The Guru told them to 
obey and believe in him, and they should always 
be victorious. They trusted him and obta'ned several 
victories. Subsequently, however, the inhabitants 
of Jalal forgot their promises to the Guru, and stole 
horses belonging to the Sikhs. The offenders were 
punished and expelled from their village by those 
whom they had wronged. They subsequently begged 
the Sikhs' pardon, and were allowed to dwell at 
Gurusar 1 , where the Guru had encamped. 

The Guru thence proceeded to the village of 
Bhagta in the present state of Faridkot. The village 
had been called after Bhai Bhagtu, a grandson of 
Bhai Bahilo, who was a distinguished Sikh in the 
time of Guru Arjan. Bhagtu had five sons, Gurdas, 
Tara, Bhara, Mihra, and Bakhta. They presented 
a fully caparisoned steed to the Guru. Gurdas and 

1 This is not the Gurusar the scene of Guru Har Gobind's engage- 
ment with the imperial army. 


Tara are the men we have already described as 
masands of Ram Rai. By this time they had 
returned to their native village. The Guru remained 
in Bhagta for three days, and on the fourth travelled 
to Wandar in the present district of Firozpur. 
Thence he proceeded into a dense forest where he 
met a nephew of Kapura, the Chaudhri of several 
villages round Kot Kapura in the present state of 
Faridkot. The nephew complained that his uncle 
had expelled him. He was, he said, marching to do 
battle with him, but, on hearing of the Guru's arrival, 
he first went to pay him his respects, that being 
a more holy object than making war on his uncle. 
The Guru said that Kapura' s troops would arrive 
on the morrow, but his nephew must not at present 
engage in a combat with them. His troops would 
subsequently conquer those of Kapura. The nephew 
following the Guru's advice decided to remain at 
home on the morrow. His wife, however, on seeing 
him thus ingloriously inactive, asked for his sword 
and turban, offered him her petticoat, and said she 
would go and fight herself. This taunt roused her 
husband to action. In disregard of the Guru's 
advice he went to battle and was killed by his 
uncle's forces. 

The Guru thence proceeded to Bahiwal and 
Sarawan and billeted his Sikhs on the villages. 
One Sikh, named Maliagar Singh, was fed by a poor 
villager on pilun, the tiny fruit of the jal-tree. He told 
the Guru that he had had an excellent dinner. The 
Guru on subsequently discovering that he had dined 
on pilun and thus received only indifferent food, 
complimented him on his contentment, and said 
that Sikhs ought ever to act as he had done, and 
never dispraise food offered them. The Guru con- 
tinued, ' If any one come to a Sikh, and receive not 
food from him, know that that Sikh hath sinned. 
If any one beg food from a Sikh, he too hath sinned 
because of his greed.' 


The Guru then visited Kot Kapura, and put up 
outside the city under a pipal-tree, which is still 
pointed out to the traveller. It is in a little pro- 
montory in the centre of a lake formed by the 
excavation of earth to build the town. Kapura 
came to see him, and brought him a fully capari- 
soned horse and other presents. Next day Kapura 
again visited him and found him seated on one 
couch, while his weapons were laid before him on 
another. He reverenced arms because, he said, 
they who wore them and practised their use became 
brave and conquered their enemies. 

The Guru begged Kapura's permission to take 
shelter in his fort. Kapura replied that he had no 
power to withstand the imperial army, and no desire 
to wander a fugitive like the Guru. The Guru then 
said the Muhammadans would take his fort, put his 
head into a bag of ashes, and then hang him. Kapura 
left in anger, and going home closed the gates of 
the fort, so that the Guru might not enter by sur- 

The Guru heard that Wazir Khan's army was 
now in hot pursuit. He accordingly set out from 
Kapura, and sought shelter in Dhilwan, a village 
about four miles to the south-east of it. There 
Prithi Chand's descendants had been settled for 
some time. One of them called Kaul, now a very 
old man, visited the Guru and made him a present 
of a suit of clothes. Upon this the Guru threw off 
and burned the greater part of the blue dress which 
he had been using for disguise. In the Asa ki War 
occurs the line : — 

Nil bastar le kapre pahire Turk Pathani amal kiya. 
The Turks and Pathans put on blue clothes and reigned. 

For this the Guru read : — 

Nil bastar le kapre phare ; Turk Pathani amal gaya. 
I have torn the blue clothes which I wore ; the rule of the 
Turks and Pathans is at an end. 




The Guru meant the alteration as a curse on the 
Turks and Pathans. It was deemed an impious act 
to alter any part of the Granth Sahib. This the 
Guru did not deny, but said he hoped that the 
murder of his father and of his own children and 
the grievous sufferings of his Sikhs were a sufficient 
atonement. A piece of his blue clothes which the 
Guru did not consign to the fire he preserved in 
memory of his troubles. It is said to have subse- 
quently suggested the blue dress of the Akalis or 

The Guru soon left Dhilwan and pitched his tent 
in a forest between Maluka and Kotha. Thence he 
proceeded to Jaito in the present state of Nabha. 
There Kapura arrived on a hunting excursion. He 
complained of perturbation of mind on account of 
the curse the Guru had uttered. The Guru, how- 
ever, refused to retract his words. On the contrary 
he said that Kapura should ever remain a puppy 
of the Muhammadans, and have great suffering in 

While the Guru was in this locality, a messenger 
arrived with the news that Wazir Khan's army was 
marching hither, and would arrive in a few days. 
The Guru asked Kapura for a guide. Kapura sent 
an officer called Khana and some troopers with 
instructions to show him the way as far as Khidrana, 
but not engage in any combat, and if possible hinder 
the Guru from doing so. Next morning the Guru es- 
caped to Ramiana in the Faridkot state. On the way 
he found a man gathering the fruit of the wild caper. 
The Guru tasted, but not relishing it, told the man to 
throw it away. The man would not do so altogether. 
The Guru said it had been his intention to banish 
drought from that part of the country, but now he 
could not do so owing to the man's obstinacy and 
disregard of his orders. From Ramiana the Guru 
proceeded towards Khidrana. 

All the contests and sufferings of the Guru became 

SIKH V P. 210 


known in the Manjha, and the Sikhs who dwelt 
there censured themselves for having listened to 
Duni Chand and abandoned the Guru at Anandpur. 
They now began to consider how they could make 
reparation and assist their spiritual master in his dire 
extremity. They were, however, of the opinion of 
the Sikhs of Lahore that the Guru should adopt the 
way of Baba Nanak and cease all hostilities. They 
sent a large deputation to press their advice on him, 
and promised that, if he accepted it, they would 
use influence with the Emperor to pardon him ; 
otherwise they would not consider themselves his 
Sikhs or him their Guru. 

The Guru on the way to Khidrana arrived at 
a village owned by a Khatri called Rupa, who 
warned him off through fear of the Emperor's dis- 
pleasure. The Guru had a Bairar named Dan Singh 
as his clerk and chamberlain. Dan Singh's son saw 
the enemy approaching, and duly informed the 
Guru. The Guru took no notice, but continued to 
walk his horse. The warning was repeated, but the 
Guru heeded it not. The youth then struck the 
Guru's horse with the object of quickening his pace. 
At this the Guru became angry and uttered words 
of censure. Dan Singh interceded for his son. 
The Guru replied that he treated Dan Singh's 
son as his own, and a father's censure would 
not affect his children. The Guru instanced the 
case of a tigress removing her cubs from a burning 
forest. When she takes them in her mouth, every 
one thinks she is going to devour them, but this is 
not so. Her act is prompted by love. 

The deputation of the Manjha Sikhs found the 
Guru after much search. On hearing their repre- 
sentation he said, ' If you were my Sikhs, you would 
receive and not give me instruction. I do not 
require you. You deserted me formerly. Who hath 
sent for you now ? You have come to adjust my 
quarrels, but where were ycru when I needed your 

p 2 


assistance ? You used no influence with the Emperor 
when Guru Arjan was tortured to death, or when 
Guru Teg Bahadur was beheaded. On this account, 
my brethren, I cannot listen to your advice. When 
I am again in difficulty, you will betray me as 
before. Put on record that you renounce me and 
go to your homes.' Upon this the deputation drew 
up a formal document to the effect that they re- 
nounced the Guru unless he ceased to contend with 
the Turks. 

A Sikh who had been put on a tree to keep watch 
said, ' I see the enemy approaching, and they will 
soon see us.' The Guru took up his bow and arrows 
and mounted his horse. He was advised by Kapura's 
guide to go to Khidrana, where there was water of 
which he could hold possession, and where the 
Muhammadans, if they ventured thither, would die 
of thirst. The Guru said, ' There is dust in the 
eyes of the Muhammadans and earth in their mouths. 
They may stare as much as they please, but when 
I remember the holy Baba Nanak they cannot see 

Five of the Man j ha Sikhs repented of their re- 
nunciation of the Guru, and decided to return and 
render him all assistance. They induced thirty-five 
more of their number to return with them. The 
Guru thus obtained an unexpected reinforcement of 
forty good and earnest fighting men. They were 
joined by a heroine named Bhago, who through zeal 
for the Sikh cause had donned man's attire and vowed 
to suffer death if necessary on the bloodstained field 
of danger on behalf of the Guru. The Guru and 
his personal guard preceded them to Khidrana in 
the present Firozpur district of the Panjab, but on 
finding no water there, the tank having run dry, 
moved on into the neighbouring forest, where they 
deemed they should be in greater safety, and whence 
they could more easily escape if overpowered. The 
forty men of the Manjha on arriving at Khidrana 


decided to cover the trees in the neighbourhood 
with clothes, so that the enemy might think they 
were encamped in great numbers, and not make 
a sudden attack on them. Kapura appeared in the 
enemies' ranks. He overtly came to show them the 
way by which he had instructed his officer to take 
the Guru and his forty Sikhs to their destruction. 

Wazir Khan ordered his army to charge the Sikhs 
who stood to oppose him, and in whose ranks he 
believed the Guru to be concealed. They received 
the charge with the utmost bravery. The Muham- 
madans were giving way when Wazir Khan rallied 
them by asking if they were not ashamed to fly 
before such a handful of men. Five Sikhs who 
advanced to the front were riddled with bullets. 
Ten more advanced on the imperial army, and 
cleared the field wherever they went. When they 
were cut down, the enemy took courage and advanced 
nearer the remaining Sikhs. Eleven Sikhs then 
rushed on the enemy and smote them down. They 
were, however, unable to cope with superior numbers 
and fell under the swords of the Muhammadans. 
The woman Bhago fought heroically in their ranks, 
disposed of several of her Muhammadan opponents, 
and transmitted her name as an Indian heroine for 
the admiration of future generations. 

The Guru and his body-guard had taken up their 
position on a sand hill about two miles distant. He 
discharged arrows from there with fatal effect 
against the Muhammadans who could not see from 
what quarter destruction was raining on them. At 
the conclusion of the engagement Wazir Khan 
thought the Guru was killed, and ordered his men 
to search for his body. 

The tank at Khidrana, as already stated, having 
become dry, Wazir Khan's army was in great straits 
for want of water. Kapura told him that it could 
only be obtained at a distance of thirty miles in 
front and ten miles in rear, and advised him to 


march back and save the lives of his men and horses, 
otherwise they would all perish. To such distress 
was the Muhammadan army reduced, that they 
abandoned their dead and wounded, and relinquished 
their search for the body of the Guru. Wazir Khan 
boasted that he had killed him, and that the Emperoi 
on hearing the joyful intelligence would greatly 
honour and reward him. 

On finding that the Muhammadan army had 
departed, the Guru went to see the battle-field, 
relieve the wounded, and perform the obsequies of 
the slain. He went about wiping the faces of both 
dead and wounded, and extolling their unsurpassed 
valour. Copious tears flowed from his eyes. He 
said the dead had given up their lives for him, and 
they should abide in bliss in the Gurus' paradise. 
He found Mahan Singh breathing heavily and 
desiring a last sight of his spiritual master. The 
Guru told him to open his eyes, and when he did 
so his strength returned. The Guru invited him to 
ask for any boon he desired from empire to salva- 
tion. Mahan Singh thought it was best to ask for 
the cancellation of the deed of renunciation of the 
Guru drawn up by the Manjha Sikhs. The Guru 
at first refused, but on being pressed consented to 
cancel it. He drew the document from his pocket 
and destroyed it. Mahan Singh then breathed his 
last. The Guru ordered the Bairars he had recently 
enlisted to collect the slain and cremate them. He 
promised that all Sikhs who visited the place on 
the first of Magh, the anniversary of the battle, 
should become filled with the martial spirit of their 
sires. Khidrana has since that time been called 
Muktsar, or the tank of salvation, because those 
who fell on that spot were no more subject to trans- 

In the process of collecting the slain it was found 
that another person showed signs of life. This was 
the heroine Bhago. The Guru addressed her : 



' Taking off thy woman's dress thou didst come to 
me with the Manjha Sikhs. It is well that thou 
hast fought here. Blessings on thy life ! Arise and 
come with me.' She detailed the story of her 
departure from her home in the company of the 
Sikhs of the Manjha, and then continued : ' I 
obtained possession of a strong spear. When all the 
Sikhs were dead the Turks advanced on me. 
I spitted several of them. Others directed their 
weapons against me, but thou didst extend thine 
arm to save me. Now that I have seen thee I am 
happy, and have no further desire than to abide 
with thee.' 

Chapter XXVII 

The Guru thence proceeded to Saran and thence 
to Nautheha. The inhabitants of the latter village 
prayed him to leave them. He then went to Tahlian 
Fatah Sammun, a village about twenty miles soutl - 
west of Muktsar, where he was welcomed. 

Some Sikhs from Harike came to him with 
an offering of a lungi and a khes. The Guru 
put the khes on his shoulders and tied the lungi 
round his loins, Man Singh remonstrated and re- 
minded him of his own prohibition of the wearing 
of a lungi in this fashion, and said he was liable to 
a fine. The Guru replied, ' I am dressed according 
to the custom of the country. Jeha des teha bhes ; 
ter lungi modhe khes — Every country hath its own 
dress a lungi for the loins and a khes (shawl) 
for the shoulders.' 

The Guru feeling his insecurity asked that a guard 
should be provided for him. The warlike Sikhs put 
some Dogars on guard. The Guru intended to 

1 Although the Guru allowed his Sikhs to adopt the dress of every 
country they inhabited, yet they must not wear hats but turbans to 
confine the long hair they are strictly enjoined to preserve. They must 
also put on a kachh (drawers), but over it they may wear trousers. 


reward the Harike Sikhs had they kept guard them- 
selves. As it was, he blessed the Dogars and foretold 
that they should have possession of all the adjacent 
river banks. The prophecy has been fulfilled, and 
there their descendants have since remained. 

Next day the Guru continued his journey and 
rested under a ber-tree, where he passed the night. 
The following day he proceeded to Wajidpur, some 
six or seven miles to the east of Firozpur. The 
inhabitants told him that the Emperor's drums were 
often heard there, and they suggested to him to de- 
part. The Guru said that instead of the drums of 
the Emperor, the praises of the Sikhs should subse- 
quently resound in the locality. The place after- 
wards fell into the possession of the Kanhaiya Misal. 1 

While in this neighbourhood the Guru heard the 
cry of a partridge and pursued it. The partridge 
gave chase and tired out men and horses. At last 
the Guru caught it, plucked it, and threw it before 
his hawk, which after some hesitation began to 
devour it. The Guru when asked the cause of this 
strange proceeding told the following anecdote : ' In 
a previous birth the partridge had been an agricul- 
turist, and the hawk a money-lender. The agri- 
culturist had borrowed from the money-lender, 
squandered the money, and then went to five in 
another village. The money-lender followed him and 
insisted on payment. The agriculturist begged for 
time, and promised to discharge the debt. The 
money-lender demanded a surety. The agriculturist 
said he had no suiety but the Guru. The money- 
lender was then satisfied and went home. The 
agriculturist, however, ultimately failed lo pay the 
money. Both died soon after, upon which the 
agriculturist became this partridge, and the money- 

1 When the Sikhs obtained supremacy over the Muhammadans 
they divided the Panjab into twelve misals or districts, under chiefs 
who exercised independent authority within their limits. Most of 
these misals were absorbed by Maharaja Ranjlt Singh. 


lender my hawk. The hawk at first refused to 
touch the partridge as the latter had given me as 
surety. I have now fulfilled my suretyship by 
bestowing the partridge on the hawk. If any one 
give me again as surety and discharge not his 
debt, I will treat him as the hawk hath done the 

The Guru left Wajidpur and returned to Muktsar. 
Thence he proceeded to Rupana and thence to 
Bhundar, Gurusar, and Thehri. After that he pro- 
ceeded to Kaljharani. Thence he marched to 
Chhatiana and on his way passed through several 
minor villages. In Chhatiana some of his soldiers 
clamoured for their pay, and said they would not 
allow him to proceed further until he had paid 
them their arrears. He offered them their choice of 
remaining his Sikhs or of taking their pay and re- 
turning to their homes. They elected to take their 
pay and dismissal. 

At this juncture a Sikh opportunely arrived with 
a large pecuniary offering for the Guru. He sum- 
moned his soldiers and gave them their pay at the 
rate of eight annas per day for cavalry, and four 
annas per day for infantry. To Dan Singh, their 
officer, the Guru offered his pay, but he refused to 
take it and elected to share the Guru's fortunes. 
The Guru complimented him on laying the founda- 
tion-stone of the Sikh religion in Malwa as Mahan 
Singh had done in the Manjha. 

His troops were meditating how they could extort 
more money from the Guru. They told him he had 
offered them the alternative of taking their pay or 
becoming Sikhs. As they had accepted the former, 
they were now excluded from Sikhism. They asked 
for double pay partly to compensate them for their 
religious disability, and partly to support their 
people at home. The Guru complied with their 
demand and, that he might not be pestered with 
further extortionate demands, buried the remainder 


of the money which his pious follower had brought 

A Muhammadan faqir called Brahmi (Ibrahim), 
who lived on a neighbouring mound, came to the 
Guru with offerings, and asked to be baptized. The 
Guru expressed his satisfaction at the proposal. 
' Thou art the first Moslem to be baptized according 
to my rites. If any Moslem, whether of high or 
low position, in good faith desire to join the Khalsa, 
it is proper that he should be baptized and received 
into our community.' The Muhammadan was 
accordingly baptized and received the name Ajmer 
Singh. 1 

The Guru thence went to the village of Sahib 
Chand and thence to Kot Bhai. On his way he 
baptized several people. From there he proceeded to 
Rohila and then to Bambiha, where he remained 
nine days. Thence he returned to Bajak. 

When the Guru was in the neighbourhood of 
Maluka and Kotha, one of the sect called Diwanas 
(madmen), who attempted forcible access to him, 
was cut down by his sentry. While the Guru was 
in Bajak, Ghudda, the Diwanas' spiritual guide, 
sought to avenge the death of his follower, and 
accordingly sent fifty men of his sect to assassinate 
the Guru. On learning, however, that the Guru had 
a strong body-guard, forty-eight of them turned 
back and only two, Sukkhu and Buddha, proceeded 
to the Guru. They carried no weapons, but whiled 
away their time on the journey with the music of 
a sarangi. On reaching the Guru instead of trying 
to kill him they began to play and sing for him. 
They sang among others the following verses : — 

The soul resideth in a frail body. 

Parents are not for ever, nor doth youth abide. 

We must all march onwards : why should man be proud ? 

The Guru was much pleased with them, and they 

1 Suraj Parkash, Ayan 1, Chapter xviii. 


were equally pleased with him. To show their satis- 
faction and the pleasure they felt in his company, 
they took up his bed on their shoulders, and carried 
it for more than a mile. The Guru gave them a 
square rupee, and told them to preserve it in memory 
of him and promised that they should obtain what- 
ever their hearts desired. 

The Guru then proceeded to Jassi Baghwali and 
thence towards Talwandi Sabo, now called Dam- 
dama, in the Patiala state, halting on the way at 
a place called Pakka. In Talwandi Sabo resided 
his friend Dalla, who asked him why he had not 
previously applied to him for assistance against the 
treacherous Muhammadans. He said he could have 
saved the Guru much suffering. Here the Guru met 
some Sikhs who had come from Lahore with a 
musket as an offering. He asked Dalla for two 
men to serve as targets to make trial of the weapon. 
All who heard him thought he was insane and made 
no reply. The Guru then saw two Ranghreta Sikhs 
and invited them to submit to the trial. When the 
Guru called them they were tying on their turbans, 
but, so eager were they to please him, that they 
went before him with their turbans only half-bound, 
and vied with each other as to who should first be 
the subject of his experiment. The Guru said he 
only wanted one of them, and further explained 
that he merely desired to prove the cowardice and 
disloyalty of Dalla's soldiers, and show that, had 
they been with him in Anandpur, they would have 
deserted him in the hour of danger. 

The Guru's wives Mata Sundari and Sahib Kaur here 
joined him in his wanderings. They wept copiously 
on hearing the fate of the young children. The 
Guru endeavoured to console them, and said, ' Ajit 
Singh, Zorawar Singh, Jujhar Singh, and Fatah 
Singh have been sacrificed for their religion and 
obtained eternal life, so why should the mothers 
of such heroes lament ? Lo ! the whole world is 


transitory. There is first childhood, then youth 
which diminisheth day by day, and at last old age, 
when the body perisheth. In the presence of God 
what is old age, what childhood, and what youth ? 
They are all the same — equally of short duration. 
The more we love our bodies, the more suffering 
we endure. Love for the body is meaningless. 
Only those who apply it to good works profit by 
their lives. Your sons have gone with honour to 
where bliss ever abideth. Having performed the 
work of the immortal God they have now returned 
to Him. Therefore accept God's will as the best 
and most advantageous portion. Instead of your 
sons I present you with my Sikhs as a brave and 
worthy offspring.' 

Dayal Das, a grandson of Bhai Bhagtu, came 
from Bhuchcho to visit the Guru. The Guru wished 
to baptize him, but he refused, saying he was a Sikh 
of the ancient fashion and wished to remain so. 
Ram Singh, a great-grandson of Bhai Bhagtu, came 
from Chakk Bhai to invite the Guru to go and stay 
with him. The Guru promised that he would go 
some day, and requested him to hold his house in 
readiness to receive him. 

The woman Bhago who remained with the Guru 
after the battle of Muktsar, in a fit of devotional 
abstraction tore off her clothes and wandered half 
naked in the forest. The Guru restrained her, gave 
her the kachh or Sikh drawers, and allowed her 
again to wear man's costume. She attained a good 
old age, and died in Abchalanagar (Nander) revered 
by the Sikhs as a saint. 

While the Guru was in Taiwan di Wazir Khan 
sent a peremptory note to Dalla to surrender him, 
or he would dispatch an army and put them both 
to death. Dalla replied that the Guru was his life, 
and he could not part with him. If Wazir Khan 
sent an army, the Guru and Dalla would go into 
the recesses of the forest, where, even if an army 


penetrated, it would perish for want of water. In 
fine Dalla manfully and courageously stated that he 
intended the Guru should reside with him for ever. 

One day the Guru, probably not wishing to com- 
promise his friend Dalla, said he would like to see 
the old fort of Bhatinda which had been founded 
by Binaipal. He first, however, in pursuance of his 
promise went to visit Ram Singh at Chakk Bhai. 
Ram Singh informed Dayal Das of the Guru's visit, 
and suggested to him to prepare dinner for him in 
Bhuchcho. He did so, but the Guru refused his 
hospitality and proceeded to Bhagtu on his way to 
Bhatinda. The Guru took up his residence on the 
top of the fort where now is a small temple dedi- 
cated to him. 

At night some Baloches sang of Sassi and Punnu. 
Sassi had been brought up by a washerman. Punnu 
was a Baloch merchant who came to the Panjab 
with merchandise for sale. He met Sassi, fell in 
love with her, and remained with her, until his 
brother came and took him forcibly away by night. 
Sassi at daybreak hearing of his abduction followed 
him, and on arriving at a sandy desert was so over- 
come by the heat that she expired. The poet 
represented that she had entered the earth in quest 
of Punnu. Next day the Guru took occasion to 
expatiate on love. He said, ' Men may perform 
devotion and penance for hundreds of thousands of 
years, but it would be all in vain without the love 
of God.' 

The Bairars told the Guru a legend regarding the 
founding of Bhatinda. One day, as Binaipal was 
hunting, he saw a wolf and a goat struggling. The 
goat was trying to save her young from the wolf. 
On the very spot where the struggle between the 
two animals took place Binaipal caused the fort to 
be erected. The Bairars told the Guru that there 
was a subterranean passage between Bhatinda and 
Bhatner in Bikaner. The chroniclers do not state 


who was in possession of the fort when visited by 
the Guru. 1 

The Guru thence proceeded to Samma and thence 
returned to Talwandi Sabo. There his friend Dalla 
again met him. Dayal Das had been following the 
Guru for some time to present him with the sacred 
food he had prepared for him, and thus secure the 
Guru's pardon. On arriving at Damdama Ram 
Singh, who was in the Guru's service, interceded for 
Dayal Das, and the Guru was pleased to restore 
him to his friendship. 

Wazir Khan sent another letter to Dalla to arrest 
the Guru, or he would plunder his country and put 
him to death without mercy. Dalla replied, ' 0 
viceroy, I fear thee not, however much thou threat- 
enest me with thine army. Having destroyed it, 
the Guru and I will retire into the forest where 
thou shalt have no power over us, and whence thou 
shalt have to return when thy troops have perished 
of hunger and thirst. I will by no means have the 
Guru arrested to please thee. Nay, I will defend 
him with my life.' 

Zabardast Khan, the Viceroy of Lahore, plundered 
a party of Sikhs who were going to make offerings 
to the Guru. Wazir Khan, the viceroy of Sarhind, 
plundered another party going on the same errand. 
The Guru then repeated his exhortation to his Sikhs 
to wear arms and diligently practise their use. In 
the early days of Sikhism it was different. At that 
time the Guru's teaching was to remember the true 
Name and not annoy anybody. Farid said, ' If any 
one strike thee with his fists, strike him not back.' 
With such teaching, the Guru said, the Sikhs had 
become faint-hearted and ever suffered defeat. Now 
that the times had altered, and the Sikhs were 
obliged to defend themselves, he had established the 

1 There is a tradition in Bhatinda that the fort was partially 
destroyed by Shahab-ul-Din Ghori during his campaign for the recovery 
of the Panjab. 


Khalsa, and whoever desired to abide in it should 
not fear the clash of arms, but be ever ready for 
the combat and the defence of his faith. At the 
same time the Name was still to remain the chief 
object of the Sikhs' adoration. 

Chapter XXVIII 

While the Guru was at Damdama he dictated the 
whole of the Granth Sahib to Bhai Mani Singh, and 
added for the first time the hymns and sloks of his 
father Guru Teg Bahadur with a slok of his own. 1 

It is said that the Guru used to have baptismal 
water prepared and thrown among the bushes. He 
explained that he did so in order that the Malwa 
Sikhs might increase in number and spring from 
every forest shrub. He used also to have pens made 
and scattered in different directions. By this he 
meant that the inhabitants of the place should 
become learned and expert penmen. 

The Guru while at Damdama used in the after- 
noon to go into the forest and sit under a j and- tree. 
The place was hence called Jandiana. A temple 
was subsequently erected there. At night the Guru 
used to return to Damdama. It was while in this 
neighbourhood he baptized Dalla and one hundred 
other Sikhs. 

1 Slok LIV. It may here be staled that there were three editions 
of the Granth Sahib. The first was written by Bhai Gur Das, the 
second by Bhai Banno, and the third by Bhai Mani Singh, under the 
superintendence of Guru Gobind Singh. The first two are believed 
to exist still, one being at Kartarpur in the Jalandhar District, and the 
other at Mangat in the Gujrat District of the Panjab. Guru Gobind 
Singh's copy of the Granth Sahib was the most complete. It is un- 
fortunately not now extant. It was either destroyed or taken away 
as booty by Ahmad Shah Durani when he despoiled and profaned 
the Golden Temple at Amritsar. 

The Granth of the tenth Guru was really the Daswen Padshah ka 
Granth. The large volume which now bears that title, was com- 
piled from various materials twenty-six years after his demise. 


The Guru sent for Tilok Singh and Ram Singh 
who had performed the obsequies of his two sons 
Ajit Singh and Zorawar Singh, fallen at Chamkaur. 
They came to visit him and made him large offer- 
ings. The Guru was well pleased with them and 
blessed them and their offspring. It may be here 
mentioned that Ram Singh is the ancestor of the 
Chief of Patiala, and Tilok Singh the ancestor of 
the chiefs of Nabha and Jind. 1 

One day the Guru said to Dalla, ' That is a fine 
field of wheat I see.' Dalla replied, ' That is grass, 

0 true Guru, wheat groweth not here. Had we 
wheat the Muhammadans would oppress us. Say 
that moth and bajra 2 are growing here.' Another 
day the Guru said, ' O Dalla, I see excellent sugar- 
cane here.' Dalla made the same reply as before 
when the Guru said he had seen wheat. The Guru 
said, ' Thou knowest not thine advantage. I desire 
to make thy land as fertile as Sarhind. The Turks 
whom thou fearest shall soon perish, and the soil 
of Malwa in time bear wheat and sugar-cane.' 
This prophecy has been fulfilled. Canals made by 
the British Government have since fertilized that 
part of the country. 

It was here the Guru heard that Kapura had been 

1 It is stated by several Sikh writers that Tilok Singh was present 
at the battle of Chamkaur. Though inexperienced in war, he con- 
ceived a desire to engage in it, and went into the thick of the combat. 
A Pathan endeavoured to pierce him with a lance. He snatched the 
lance from the Pathan's hands and cut off his head with his sword. 
He then took the head on the Pathan's lance to the Guru. The Guru 
on seeing him approach cried out, Ao, Tilok Sing, jang ke lire — 
Come, Tilok Singh, Bridegroom of war. 

Tilok Singh and Ram Singh had been hereditary Sikhs and were 
ever regarded affectionately by the Guru, as is evidenced by his letter 
of the 2nd of Bhadon, Sambat 1753 (a. d. 1696), in which he wrote, 
Meri /ere upar bahul khushi hai, aur /era ghar mera hai, that is, 

1 am very well pleased with you, my house is yours, and your 
house is mine. This letter is now preserved with other relics of the 
Guru in the Sikh state of Nabha. 

2 Moth and bajra are inferior Indian cereals only consumed by the 
poorest classes. 


put to death by Isa Khan of Kot Isa Khan in the 
Firozpur district. The cause and manner of his 
death were as follows : — Kaul, a descendant of 
Prithi Chand, had established a religious fair at 
Dhilwan ; Kapura attended it and became involved 
in a drunken brawl with some of the pilgrims. Kaul 
sent a great-grandson of his to interpose, but the 
youth was killed. Another great-grandson whom 
he dispatched on a similar errand met with the same 
fate. On this Abhai Ram, the father of the youths 
slain, became furious with Kapura, desired that the 
Guru's curse on him might speedily take effect, and 
his line be extirpated. Isa Khan with all haste 
employed a party of men to attack Kapura, whom 
he suspected to be a friend of the Guru. The 
latter tried to defend himself, but was worsted, and 
then tried to conceal himself in a haystack. Isa 
Khan dragged him forth, and made him a prisoner. 
When taking him away he thought he would be 
only an encumbrance, so he ordered him to be hanged 
on the nearest tree. Kapura himself remembered 
the Guru's curse, that his head should be put into 
a bag of ashes, so he requested that it should be 
done before his execution, that the words of the 
Guru might be fulfilled, and that he might be thus 
saved from further transmigration. 

On one occasion a question arose as to what the 
earth rested on. The theories of the Hindus and 
other sects were put forward. The Guru concluded 
the discussion by saying that the earth was sup- 
ported by the power of God who alone was true 
and permanent. He on that occasion repeated the 
sixteenth pauri of the Japji. 

Daya Singh and Dharm Singh, whom the Guru 
had sent with the Zafarnama to the Emperor, suc- 
ceeded in delivering it, and were furnished with 
a parwana of safe conduct for their return journey. 
The perusal of the Zafarnama is said to have 
softened the Emperor's heart and led him to repent ; 



hence his permission to the Guru's messengers to 
return to their own country in peace and safety. 
They, however, received no verbal or written reply 
to the Guru's letter. 

The Guru asked Dalla to accompany him to the 
south of India. Daha replied that he considered 
his humble couch at Damdama was equal to the 
throne of Dihli, and he pressed the Guru and his 
Sikhs to remain with him. The Bairars in the 
Guru's service also endeavoured to dissuade him 
from his contemplated journey. He refused to listen 
to them, and on this several of them left his service. 
The Guru was now left with only Dalla Singh ; 
the two great-grandsons of Bhai Bhagtu, namely, 
Ram Singh and his brother Fatah Singh ; Param 
Singh and Dharm Singh, descendants of Bhai Rupa ; 
and Bhai Mani Singh, the Sikh biographer and ar- 
ranger of the Ad Granth and the tenth Guru's 

Their first march was to Kewal, thence to Jhorar, 
thence to Jhanda, and thence to Sarsa. Param 
Singh and Dharm Singh had a new bed provided 
for the Guru at every march. Dalla Singh to every 
one's intense amazement absconded during the march 
in the dead of night, and took with him a Sodhi 
and several Bairars. The Guru dismissed Fatah 
Singh on Ram Singh's representation that his ser- 
vices and assistance were required at home. 

The Guru thence proceeded to Nauhar, a town 
of Bikaner about twenty miles south-west of Sarsa. 
Though the inhabitants were very rich, they do not 
appear to have been forward in providing supplies 
for the Guru and his few remaining followers. On 
the contrary, there was great commotion in the town 
because one of his Sikhs had accidentally killed 
a pigeon. When the Guru went into the market- 
place he saw that the inhabitants were very proud 
of their wealth, and he foretold that it should all 
soon vanish. In a. d. 1756 a Sikh expedition was 


directed against Charupur (Chainpura), but on 
finding the water on the march brackish, the soldiers 
made a diversion and plundered Nauhar. 

Thence the Guru proceeded to Bahaduran. There 
he gave Param Singh and Dharm Singh a horse 
each and also arms for their defence. On arriving 
at Sahewa (Saio) the Guru noticed that through 
respect for him they were taking the arms on their 
heads and walking beside their chargers as being 
a Guru's gifts. The Guru said that they should 
obtain whatever they required, and that their tongues 
should be to them as arms. On bidding them fare- 
well he presented them with a religious work con- 
taining the morning and evening divine services of 
the Sikhs. 

The Guru's next march was to Madhu Singh ana. 
He thence proceeded to Pushkar, a place of pil- 
grimage sacred to Brahma. A Brahman called 
Chetan showed the Guru the sacred places of Ajmer. 
The Guru while in that neighbourhood was often 
severely heckled on the subject of his dress. People 
said it was neither Hindu nor Muhammadan. The 
Guru admitted the fact, and said it was the dress 
of the third distinct sect which he had established. 

Thence the Guru proceeded to Narainpur, generally 
known as Dadudwara, where the saint Dadu had 
lived and flourished. His shrine had by this time 
descended to a Mahant called J ait, who quoted two 
lines of Dadu to the Guru : — 

Dadu, surrender thy claim to every worldly thing ; pass 
thy days without claims. 

How many have departed after trading in this grocer's 
shop ! 1 

The Guru said these lines were applicable to the 
invention of a religion, but ill suited to its preserva- 
tion. Rather should the lines be read : — 

1 That is, the world. 


Asserting thy claim in the world plunder the wicked. 
Extirpate him who doeth thee evil. 

The Mahant quoted two other lines to the Guru : — 

Dadu, taking the times as they come, be satisfied with 
this Kal age. 

If any one throw a clod or a brick at thee, lift it on thy 

The Guru would not admit the last line, and altered 
it thus : — 

If any one throw a clod or a brick at thee, angrily strike 
him with a stone. 

The Guru then explained the principles of his 
own religion to the Mahant : ' This age is very evil. 
The wicked rule in it, and cause suffering to saints 
and holy men. Tyrants therefore deserve to be 
punished. They will not refrain as long as they 
are pardoned. O Mahant, they who bear arms, who 
remember the true Name and sacrifice their lives 
for their faith, shall go straight to paradise. There- 
fore I have established the Khalsa religion, given my 
followers arms, and made them heroes.' 

The Guru was censured by his staff for lifting his 
arrow in salutation of Dadu's shrine. Man Singh 
quoted the Guru's own written instructions, Got 
marhi mat bhul na mane — Worship not even by 
mistake Muhammadan or Hindu cemeteries or places 
of cremation. The Guru explained that he saluted 
the shrine to test his Sikhs' devotion and their 
recollection of his instructions. The Guru, however, 
admitted that he had technically rendered himself 
liable to a fine, and cheerfully paid one hundred and 
twenty-five rupees. 

The Guru thence went to Lali, thence to Mag- 
haroda, and thence to Kulait. Here he met Day a 
Singh and Dharm Singh returning from their em- 
bassy to Aurangzeb. It is probable the embassy 
reached the Emperor when he was ill. The envoys 


told the Guru that when they left the Emperor's 
court they heard he had been seized with a colic. 

The Guru thence proceeded to Baghaur. Here 
he heard of Aurangzeb's death and the accession of 
his second son Tara Azim, called Muhammad Azim 
Shah by Muhammadan historians. The inhabitants 
of Baghaur refused supplies and quarrelled with the 
Guru's escort. A camel belonging to the Guru 
trespassed on one of the town gardens. The gar- 
deners beat the camel and abused the camel-driver. 
Upon this the Sikhs went in a body and assaulted 
the gardeners. This led to a counter assault and 
fighting which lasted two days. By this time the 
Sikhs had stormed and plundered the city, but the 
fort remained to be captured. By the advice of 
Ratan Singh, a Sikh whom the Guru must have 
met on his travels, a cannon was placed on a hill 
commanding the fort. After a brief cannonade the 
occupants held out a flag of truce. Peace was pro- 
claimed, but on the arrival of the raja of the place, 
who had been absent when the fighting began, 
hostilities were resumed. Dharm Singh killed the 
raja's commander-in-chief, and the Guru killed the 
raja himself. The Baghaur army then fled, and 
was pursued by the Sikhs until the Guru recalled 
them. Upon this the Guru resumed his march. On 
setting out he told the Sikhs that the Turks should 
soon fight against one another, and that the usurper, 
Tara Azim, should be killed. 

Chapter XXIX 

When Aurangzeb died, his eldest son, Bahadur 
Shah, was engaged in a military expedition in 
Afghanistan. 1 When his younger brother Tara Azim 
usurped the throne, Badadur Shah hastened back 

1 The Emperor Aurangzeb had three sons, Bahadur Shah, Muham- 
mad Azim Shah (called Tara Azim by the Sikhs), and Muhammad 
Kam Bakhsh. 


to India to claim and do battle for his heritage. 
He consulted Nand Lai, a friend of his, as to how 
he should be successful. Nand Lai advised him to 
seek the Guru's assistance. The Guru, on being 
appealed to, promised him not only assistance but 
sovereignty if he agreed to a request he was about 
to make, and did not prove false like his father. 
Bahadur Shah was pleased to accept these vague 
conditions, and informed the Guru accordingly. 

The Guru sent Dharm Singh with some trusty 
Sikhs to render him all possible assistance, and, 
feeling anxiety regarding the grave political cir- 
cumstances of the country, deemed it advisable 
to retrace his steps to the north in the hope of 
meeting and conferring with the Emperor. 

When Bahadur Shah had fully equipped his army, 
he marched to Agra. Tara Azim, who was at the 
time in distant Ahmadnagar, on hearing of his 
brother's operations, marched by Gualiar to con- 
tend with him for empire. Bahadur Shah advanced 
to meet him and encamped at Jaju near Dhaulpur 
(Dholpur) where the opposing armies met. 1 After 
a fight of three days' duration, not only Tara Azim, 
but several of his principal officers were slain. Upon 
this his army fled and victory remained with Bahadur 
Shah. He, now undisputed monarch of India, re- 
turned to Agra and dispatched Dharm Singh to 
inform the Guru of his victory. 

On the Guru's arrival in Dihli he encamped on 
the left bank of the Jamna. His Sikhs thought it 
unsafe for him to enter that strong Muhammadan 
and imperial centre. He erected a temple on the 
spot where his father Guru Teg Bahadur had been 
cremated. On hearing of Bahadur Shah's victory 
the Guru resolved to go to Agra to congratulate 
him, and made arrangements to leave his wives in 
Dihli under the protection of his Sikhs. Upon hear- 
ing this Mata Sundari wept copiously. The Guru 

1 Waqiat Hind. 


consoled her with the arguments and reflections he 
had previously employed at Damdama. on the tran- 
sitoriness of human life and the bliss in which her 
son abode as a mighty hero and religious martyr. 

A goldsmith residing in Dihli came to the Guru 
to pray him to grant him the favour of a son. One 
day as the Guru went to the chase accompanied 
among others by the goldsmith, they saw a woman 
abandon her male infant in the forest. The Guru 
told the goldsmith to take and rear the child. The 
goldsmith said he could not afford a wet-nurse. 
The Guru directed him to take some water, recite 
Wahguru over it, and wash his wife's breasts there- 
with. When she took the child in her lap milk 
would at once come in abundance. The goldsmith 
accepted the Guru's advice, and the promised result 
was obtained. When the child was five years of 
age, he was seen by Mata Sundari, who found in 
him a marvellous likeness to her martyred son, and 
duly adopted him. 

Sahib Kaur importuned the Guru to allow her to 
accompany him. At last he yielded to her entreaties. 
Bahadur Shah sent a messenger to the Guru to ex- 
pedite his departure. The messenger informed him 
that the Emperor feared the bigotry of his co- 
religionists were he himself to pay the first visit. 

The Guru on the third day after his departure 
from Dihli arrived at Mathura and encamped at 
Suraj Kund, on the banks of the Jamna. He made 
a tour through Bindraban and visited all its famous 
and interesting places. 

On his journey to Agra the Guru wanted water. 
One of his Sikhs fetched it from the house of a 
barren woman of the priestly class, and told the 
Guru that, there being no children there, the water 
must be pure. The Guru would not admit that 
children defiled water, and asked it to be brought 
him from some house, where there were sons and 
daughters. On that occasion he said, ' A hermit 


is best when alone ; pure is his body and pure 
his mind ; but where there is a householder with 
a large family, his house is still purer, and so are 
his body, mind, and understanding.' 

The Guru duly met the Emperor Bahadur Shah in 
Agra. The Emperor thanked him for such assist- 
ance as he had given him in obtaining the throne, 
made him costly presents, and invited him to spend 
some time with him. The Guru was pleased to 
accept the invitation. 

One day as the Guru and a high officer were 
seated together, a Saiyid of Sarhind asked the Guru 
if he could perform a miracle. The Guru replied 
that miracles were in the power of the Emperor. He 
could raise a humble person to the highest office 
and dignity, or degrade him therefrom. The Saiyid 
said he knew that, but had the Guru himself the 
power of working any miracles ? Upon this the 
Guru drew forth a gold coin and said that it was 
a miracle, for everything could be purchased with it. 
The Saiyid asked if he could show any further 
miracles. In reply the Guru drew his sword, and 
said that that also was a miracle. It could cut off 
heads and confer thrones and empires upon those 
who wielded it with dexterity. Upon this the 
Saiyid hung down his head and asked no further 

Some rajas of Rajputana came to visit the 
Guru. He told them they did one very regret- 
table thing, namely, they gave their daughters in 
marriage to Muhammadan emperors and princes. 
He made them swear that they would for the 
future desist from the practice. 

One day in conversation with the Guru the 
Emperor maintained that if any one were to repeat 
the Muhammadan creed, he should not be consigned 
to hell. The Guru denied that the creed had that 
efficacy. If any one after repeating it were to do 
evil, the repetition of the creed would not avail him. 


The Emperor asked how he was to be assured of 
that. The Guru replied, ' The creed is stamped on 
thy rupee ; we shall see the effect thereof.' The 
Guru secretly sent a bad rupee to the market-place 
to be changed. The money-changer applied to at 
once rejected it as counterfeit. It was then taken 
to the other money-changers with the same result 
The Guru then addressed the Emperor : ' See, in 
thine empire, even in thine own market-place, no 
one hath paid any regard to thy creed engraved on 
this rupee, so how shall it conduct men to heaven ? 
Thou to-day enjoyest empire, and canst do what 
thou pleasest. If here in thy presence this bad 
rupee even with the creed on it cannot pass, how 
can it be accepted by another monarch ? In God's 
court gilding availeth not. The counterfeit and the 
genuine are there distinguished, and men obtain the 
reward or punishment due to their acts. Thy creed, 
therefore, as in the present case, cannot avail thee 
for admission into heaven without good works. 
When all accounts are called for by the Great 
Examiner, it is only those who show balances to 
their credit who shall be delivered.' 

The Guru and the Emperor's conversation turned 
on the subject of Hindu pilgrimages. The Guru 
said he himself had no concern with them. Next 
day when he visited the Emperor, the latter said 
there were two ways — the Hindu and the Musal- 
man — in the world, and inquired which the Guru 
preferred to follow. The Guru said he was well 
disposed towards both, and he instructed every one 
as he found him. The Emperor replied : ' There is 
one God and one faith. On what dost thou rely ? ' 
The Guru smiled and said, ' My brother, there are 
three Gods.' The Emperor inquired where that was 
written, and added, ' A child born yesterday knoweth 
there is only one God.' The Guru continued, ' Why 
did thine ancestors hinder the Hindus from wor- 
shipping Ram, Narayan, and tell them they must 


only utter Maula Pak or Khuda 1 ? Thou proclaimest 
that heaven is made for Moslems and hell for the 
Hindus. Hindus will not associate with any one 
who adoreth Maula Pak or Khuda. Such is the 
quarrel between the two sects. Know that my 
religion is that regarding which there is no con- 
troversy. The Hindus have a God whom Moslems 
do not acknowledge, and I have a God whom neither 
of them acknowledge.' 

The Emperor one day preached the Guru a sermon 
against Hindu superstitions. The Guru agreed with 
him, but at the same time would not flatter the 
Muhammadan religion. He said that as the Hindu 
worshipped stones, so did the Muhammadans wor- 
ship departed saints and even a black lifeless slab 
at Makka ; and as the Hindus when at prayer 
turned their faces to the east, the Muhammadans 
turned their faces to the west. The Muhammadans 
supposed that their prophet could mediate for them, 
but he had become ashes, and what advantage could 
his ashes or those of his saints confer on men ? The 
Guru thus found fault with both the Hindu and 
Muhammadan religions, and said that he had struck 
out a religion of his own, the basis of which was the 
worship of the sole immortal God. Some discus- 
sion arose on the subject of the Guru's discourse, 
but he promptly answered all objections. 

The Guru now explicitly stated the request he 
had several times hinted that he desired to make. 
It was to deliver up to him Wazir Khan who had 
killed his children at Sarhind. The Emperor natur- 
ally desired to know what the Guru proposed to do 
with him. The Guru candidly replied that he 
would have life for life, according to the law of 
retaliation contained in the Emperor's sacred book. 
The Emperor shuddered on hearing this request, but 
gave no direct refusal. He said he would reply 
after consulting his ministers. At the same time 

1 Muhammadan names of God. 


he felt that if he surrendered a viceroy to the Guru, 
a popular rebellion and a mutiny of his Muham- 
madan army would be the result. The Emperor 
therefore requested the Guru to wait for a year 
until his rule was more firmly established, and then 
he would consider the request made. The Guru 
on this reproached the Emperor with falsehood, 
and said that a Sikh 1 should arise who should call 
the false and counterfeit to account, who should 
seize and kill the Emperor's viceroys, priests, and 
magistrates, and contribute to the ruin of the 
Mughal empire. 

Notwithstanding this blunt language and undis- 
guised menace, the Emperor invited the Guru to go 
with him on a visit to Jaipur and other cities. The 
Guru promised to join him on the march. After 
a few days he set out and overtook the Emperor. 
They both visited Jodhpur and Chitaur. Each 
raja sent his envoy to conciliate and do homage 
to the Guru. At Chitaur there arose a quarrel 
between the Sikhs and the Rajputs on account of 
some grass the former had taken for their horses. 
The Guru censured his Sikhs, and ordered them to 
take nothing for the future without payment. 

The Emperor and the Guru continued their 
journey to the Narbada river. The quarrel between 
the Sikhs and the Muhammadans was kept alive by 
the Emperor's escort, many of whom were relations 
of the imperial soldiers slain by the Sikhs at Anand- 
pur. The Guru sent Man Singh, one of his Five 
Beloved, to adjust the difference between both 
parties. While on his mission of peace the brave 
Man Singh, one of the surviving heroes of Cham- 
kaur, who had never parted from the Guru, was 
assassinated by a fanatic. The Emperor was much 
distressed on hearing of his death, and ordered 
that his murderer should be seized and given up to 
the Guru for punishment. The Guru pardoned him, 

1 No doubt Banda was meant. 


and thus gained great praise from the Muham 
madans for his mercy and clemency. 

The Emperor and the Guru continued their march 
to Burhanpur on the Tapti river. The inhabitants 
had prepared a house there for the Guru, where he 
passed some time. A holy man came to visit him 
and said, ' 0 Guru, I was present with thy father on 
the bank of the Brahmaputra when thou wert born 
in Patna. He said that thou shouldst afterwards 
travel to the south of India. The prophecy having 
now been fulfilled, I have come to meet and wel- 
come thee.' He then gave the Guru hospitable 

The Emperor continued his journey and left the 
Guru at Burhanpur. After some days the Emperor 
wrote to him to join him, and he acceded to his 
request. Both then proceeded to Puna and thence 
to Nander on the margin of the river Godavari in 
the present state of Haidarabad and about one 
hundred and fifty miles north-west of its capital. 

Chapter XXX 

The original name of Nander was Nau Nand Dehra, 
because it is said that nine rikhis dwelt there in 
prehistoric times. It is supposed to occupy the 
site of the ancient city of Tagara described by 
the author of the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea. 
In the middle of the fourth century it was still 
a place of importance and the capital of a petty 
kingdom. Its fortifications have long since been 
dismantled or have perished by lapse of time ; and 
there is now no trace of any ancient buildings 
save a few old temple pillars preserved in a small 
mosque near the court of the sub-collector. The 
country is diversified by dale and hillock along the 
lazily flowing Godavari. 

The Guru arrived in Nander in Sawan (July- 
August), A. D. 1707, with some infantry and two or 


three hundred cavalry equipped with lances. He 
went to the hut of Madho Das, a Bairagi hermit. 
Finding the Bairagi absent, and hearing that he 
possessed such skill in magic that he could over- 
throw any one who sat on his couch, the Guru 
proceeded to sit thereon and make himself at 
home. He shot one of the Bairagi's goats and 
cooked and ate the flesh. A disciple went to inform 
the Bairagi of the Guru's proceedings. It was a 
sacrilege to kill an animal at the Bairagi's seat, and 
another sacrilege to take possession of the couch 
which served him as a throne. He came to demand 
an explanation of the intruder's strange conduct. 
The Bairagi represented that the place had been 
first his guru's seat, then his own, and he did not 
desire to have it usurped by an unknown stranger, 
who moreover committed violence and sacrilege. 
The Guru replied that he had arrived fatigued in 
Nander, and having heard of the Bairagi's hospitality 
and philanthropy, took the liberty of testing the 
favourable accounts he had received. The Bairagi 
accepted the Guru's explanation, recognized from 
his words and manner that he was a great man, 
and called himself his Banda — slave — the name by 
which he was subsequently known. 

Banda, whose original name was Lachmandev, was 
son of Ramdev Rajput and native of Rajauri in the 
Himalayan State of Punch. Before he adopted a 
religious role he had been a zamindar or cultivator. 
In early years he practised the use of firearms and 
was devoted to the chase. Once when he shot a 
female deer he found two young ones in her womb. 
He was so distressed at what he had done, that he 
decided to renounce the world and became a disciple 
of a faqir named Janki Prasad. As a wandering 
mendicant he made his way to the source of the 
Godavari at Nasik. He there made himself a hut 
and began to perform austerities. 

A Jogi called Luni visited him and instructed him 


in the science of Jog and incantations. Being thus 
accomplished, he set out again on his travels, and 
followed the source of the Godavari until he arrived 
in Nander. There he became known as a holy man 
in possession of many charms for the acquisition of 
spiritual and temporal advantages. He used to 
pray and perform penance on a little mound over- 
looking the Godavari, and thence at intervals watch 
its slow and dreamy motion as if it were loth to 
lose itself in the open sea. 

The Guru was pleased with the position and 
seclusion of Nander, and decided to make it his 
permanent abode. He used to sit in prayer and 
meditation on a small stone structure on the margin 
of the river. Near it is a little larger building 
Where the Granth Sahib was read. It is now and 
has been for years in a state of dilapidation. 

The Guru instructed Banda in the tenets of his 
religion, and in due time baptized him according to 
the new rites. On that occasion Banda received 
the name Gurbakhsh Singh, but continued to be 
known as Banda. He conceived a great affection 
for the true religious guide he had at last found, 
and one day asked him if there were any service he 
could perform for him. The Guru after reflection 
found that he had an account to settle with the 
Muhammadans of the Panjab, and replied, ' I have 
come into the world to consolidate the faith and 
destroy oppressors. Art thou prepared to assist 
me ? ' Banda promised to undertake any enterprise 
suggested by the Guru. Upon this he was enjoined 
to proceed to the Panjab and wreak vengeance on 
the enemies of the Khalsa. ' Thou hast called thy- 
self my slave,' said the Guru, ' but thou shalt be 
the most exalted of all' 

Saying this the Guru presented him with five 
arrows and thus addressed him, ' As long as thou 
remainest continent, thy glory shall increase. He 
who is continent, turneth not away from the combat, 


and his opponents cannot withstand him. The 
continent man succeedeth in everything. Once thou 
forsakest the Khalsa principles and associatest un- 
lawfully with woman, thy courage shall depart.' He 
then ordered Banda to proceed towards the Jamna, 
wait at a little distance from Buria for reinforce- 
ments which he would cause to be sent him, then 
go to Sadhaura — Buria and Sadhaura are both in 
the present district of Ambala — and plunder and 
devastate it. The reason was that the Muham- 
madans of the place had caused Budhu Shah and 
his disciples to be executed by the Emperor for 
the offence of having assisted the Guru at the battle 
of Bhangani. When Banda had disposed of the 
Guru's enemies at Sadhaura, he was to proceed to 
sack some more Muhammadan cities, then march 
to Sarhind, and put its governor Wazir Khan to 
death. The Guru gave him instructions to cut off 
Wazir Khan's head with his own hands, and not 
entrust this pious duty to any subordinate. This 
done Banda was commissioned to go to the hills and 
search for the hill Rajas who had so often and so 
cruelly persecuted the Guru, and mete out to them 
the same justice as to the Mughal enemies of the 

With Banda the Guru dispatched Baba Binod 
Singh, his son Baba Kahn Singh — descendants of 
Guru Angad — and Baz Singh, a descendant of Guru 
Amar Das, who were all three to give Banda further 
instructions in the new religion he had adopted. 
With these the Guru sent five other Sikhs to assist 
in the enterprise and support the martial fame of 
the Khalsa. 

After Banda' s departure the Guru lived at various 
places in the immediate neighbourhood — at the 
Shikar Ghat, or game ferry, whence he used to go 
hunting, at the Nagina Ghat, where a Sikh presented 
him with a valuable signet ring which he flung into 
the river, at the Hira Ghat where he disposed in 


a similar manner of a valuable diamond ring pre- 
sented him by the Emperor while in Nander, and 
at the spot now called the Sangat Sahib, where he 
used to give religious instruction to his followers 
and expound to them the Granth Sahib. 

While at the Sangat Sahib, a Multani Sikh brought 
the Guru an offering of a bow and two arrows. He 
was much pleased, and put the bow to the test by 
discharging one of the arrows from it. He sent one 
of his followers to inquire where the arrow had 
fallen. On being informed of the spot he said that 
was where he wished to reside. The Muhammadans 
objected, but their objection was overruled by the 
Emperor, who made the Guru a present of the land. 
He went and abode there, and made it the scene 
of his propaganda. It is the place on which his 
shrine was subsequently erected. 

After some time a Pathan one day came and 
claimed from the Guru a sum of eleven thousand 
rupees as the price of horses he had supplied him. 
The Guru had not sufficient funds to discharge the 
debt. He said that thirty years after his decease 
the Sikhs should be in power, and the Pathan had 
only to present the Guru's acknowledgement of the 
debt to their leaders, when he should receive the 
amount many hundredfold. The debt was duly dis- 
charged by the Sikhs under happier and more pros- 
perous circumstances. 

Chapter XXXI 

The Guru feeling that his end was approaching 
desired to send Sahib Kaur, to her co-wife Sundari 
whom he had left in Dihli on his departure 
to the south of India. He knew that she could 
not endure the shock which his demise would cause 
her. She at first refused to leave Nander, saying 
that she had made a vow never to take her daily 
food without seeing the Guru, and how could she 


fulfil her vow if she were to part from him ? The 
Guru then gave her six weapons which had belonged 
to his grandfather Guru Har Gobind, and told her 
to look at them whenever she desired to behold 
him. With these and other inducements he at last 
persuaded her to depart. She was accompanied by 
Bhai Mani Singh and both were enjoined to com- 
fort and console Sundari. 

The current Sikh account of the Guru's death is 
that he was stabbed by Gul Khan, a grandson of 
Painda Khan, in revenge for the death of the 
latter at the hands of Guru Har Gobind. 1 More 
probable is the account given in one of the re- 
censions of Bahadur Shah's history : — The Guru 
was in the habit of constantly addressing as- 
semblies of worldly persons, religious fanatics, and 
indeed all varieties of people. One day an Afghan, 
who frequently attended these meetings, was sitting 
listening to him, when certain expressions which 
were disagreeable to the ears of the faithful fell 
from the Guru's tongue. The Afghan was en- 
raged and, regardless of the Guru's dignity and 
importance, stabbed him twice or thrice with a 

1 Thucydides, the Greek historian, cites a proverb to the effect that 
the gratification of revenge is the sweetest feeling among mortals — 
"A/mi 8' i\6poii af/.vva(rOai £Kytvr)<r6fiivov r)/uv, ko.1 to Xtyofjitvov iron" 
ySurrov eivai — and even one of the most Christian of poets thought it 
not unbecoming his religion and philosophy to approve of the anger 
of one of the denizens of his Inferno for his unavenged death. His 
passion for revenge and his resentment at the inaction of his poetic 
relative only enhanced pity and estimation for him — 

ond'ei sen gio 
Senza parlarmi, si com'io slimo; 
Ed in cio m'ha e' fatto a se piu pio. 

Dante's Inftrno. 

Several Sikhs suppose that Gul Khan was specially deputed by 
the Emperor Bahadur Shah to assassinate the Guru because he had 
importuned him to fulfil a promise solemnly made. It has been 
thought the Emperor believed that if he could remove the Guru from 
his path, all troubles would be at an end. 



The Emperor on hearing of the outrage dispatched 
some of his most skilful surgeons to attend to the 
Guru's injuries ; and so skilfully did they perform 
their duty that the Guru's wounds were nearly 
healed in a fortnight, after which the surgeons took 
their leave as being no longer required . In a short time 
the Emperor again sent to inquire after the Guru's 
health and made him several offerings which included 
two bows. A discussion arose whether the Guru 
could bend them. On this he took up one and on 
bending it burst open his imperfectly healed wounds. 
Blood began to flow copiously. The wound was 
bound up by the Guru's attendants, but this time it 
was past medicament. 

The Guru set apart five hundred rupees for the 
preparation and distribution of sacred food and one 
hundred rupees to purchase sandal- wood and what- 
ever else was necessary for his obsequies. His Sikhs 
came to him, and said that while he was alive they 
had the benefit of his presence, but they required 
instruction which might remind them of him hereafter 
and guide them to salvation. The Guru replied, ' O 
dear and beloved Khalsa, the immortal God's will can 
never be resisted. He who is born must assuredly die. 
Guru Arjan hath said, " Everything we behold shall 
perish." Night and day are merely expressions of 
time. It is the immortal God alone who ever 
abideth. All other beings, however holy and exalted, 
must depart when the last moment allotted them 
arriveth, for none can escape the primordial law of 
corporeal dissolution. All this world, composed of the 
five elements, is Death's prey. When the materials 
perish, how can the fabric remain ? God the Creator 
and Cherisher of all is alone immortal. Brahma, 
Vishnu, Shiv, and the other gods of the Hindus 
perished at their appointed time. Of what account 
is man ? Wherefore, O my friends, it is not good to 
be unduly enamoured of this fragile body. Know 
that the light of the imperishable God whose attri- 


butes are permanence, consciousness, and happiness, 
shineth ever in you. Wherefore always abide in 
cheerfulness, and never give way to mourning. God 
is ever the same. He is neither young nor old. He 
is not born, neither doth he die. He feeleth not pain 
or poverty. Know that the true Guru abideth as He. 
Creatures who are steeped in bodily pride are 
very unhappy, and night and day subject to love and 
hate. Ever entangled and involved in the deadly 
sins, they perish by mutual enmity and at last find 
their abode in hell. Yet for the love of such creatures 
the Guru assumed birth to deliver them. He hath 
instructed them in the true Name, and very 
fortunate are they who have received and treasured 
his instruction. By it they are enabled to save 
themselves and others from the perils of the world's 
ocean. As when after drought rain falleth and there 
is abundance, so the Guru, seeing human beings 
suffering and yearning for happiness, came to bestow 
it on them and remove their sorrows by his teaching. 
And as the rain remaineth where it falleth, so the 
Guru's instruction ever abideth with his disciples. 
The Sikhs who love the true Guru are in turn beloved 
by him. O Khalsa, remember the true Name. 
The Guru hath arrayed you in arms to procure you 
the sovereignty of the earth. Those who have died 
in battle have gone to an abode of bliss. I have 
attached you to the skirt of the immortal God and 
entrusted you to Him. Read the Granth Sahib or 
listen to it, so shall your minds receive consolation, 
and you shall undoubtedly obtain an abode in the 
Guru's heaven. They who remember the true Name 
render their lives profitable, and when they depart 
enter the mansions of eternal happiness.' 

When the Sikhs came again to take their last fare- 
well of the Guru, they inquired who was to succeed 
him. He replied, ' I have entrusted you to the 
immortal God. Ever remain under His protection, 
and trust to none besides. Wherever there are five 

R 2 


Sikhs assembled who abide by the Guru's teachings, 
know that I am in the midst of them. He who 
serveth them shall obtain the reward thereof — the 
fulfilment of all his heart's desires. Read the history 
of your Gurus from the time of Guru Nanak. Hence- 
forth the Guru shall be the Khalsa and the Khalsa 
the Guru. I have infused my mental and bodily 
spirit into the Granth Sahib and the Khalsa.' 

After this the Guru bathed and changed his dress. 
He then read the Japji and repeated an Ardas or 
supplication. While doing so, he gave instruc- 
tions that no clothes should be bestowed as alms 
in his name. He then put on a muslin waist- 
band, slung his bow on his shoulder and took 
his musket in his hand. He opened the Granth 
Sahib and placing five paise and a coco-nut before it 
solemnly bowed to it as his successor. Then uttering 
' Wahguru ji ka Khalsa ! Wahguru ji ki fatah ! ' 
he circumambulated the sacred volume and said, 
' O beloved Khalsa, let him who desireth to behold 
me, behold the Guru Granth. Obey the Granth 
Sahib. It is the visible body of the Guru. And 
let him who desireth to meet me diligently search 
its hymns.' 

The Guru went to an enclosure formed of tent 
walls where his bier had been erected. In the end 
of the night — a watch before day — he lay on his 
bier, and directed all his Sikhs except Bhai San- 
tokh Singh, 1 who was specially attached to him, to 
go to their homes. He then gave his last orders to 
his last attendant. ' Keep my kitchen ever open, and 
receive offerings for its maintenance. If any one 
erect a shrine in my honour, his offspring shall perish.' 
Bhai Santokh Singh represented that the Sikhs were 
few at Nander, and how were offerings to be obtained? 
The Guru replied, ' O Bhai Santokh Singh, have 
patience. Singhs of mine of very great eminence 
shall come here and make copious offerings. Every- 

1 This is a different man from the author of the Suraj Parkash. 


thing shall be obtained by the favour of Guru 
Nanak.' He then, in grateful acknowledgement of 
the spiritual benefactions of the founder of his 
religion, uttered a Persian distich, the translation 
of which is: — 

Gobind Singh obtained from Guru Nanak 

Hospitality, the sword, victory, and prompt assistance. 1 

The Guru then breathed his last. The Sikhs made 
preparations for his obsequies as he had instructed 
them, the Sohila was solemnly chanted, and sacred 
food distributed. 

While all were mourning the loss of the Guru 
a hermit arrived and said, ' You suppose that the 
Guru is dead. I saw him this very morning riding 
his bay horse. When I bowed to him he said, 
" Come, O hermit, let me behold thee. Very happy 
am I that I have met thee at the last moment." 
I then asked him whither he was wending his way. 
He smiled and said he was going to the forest on 
a hunting excursion. He had his bow in his hand, 
and his arrows were fastened with a strap to his 

The Sikhs who heard this statement arrived at the 
conclusion that it was all the Guru's play, that he 
dwelt in uninterrupted bliss, and that he showed 
himself wherever he was remembered. He had 
merely come into the world, they said, to make trial 
of their faith, and remove the ills of existence. 
Wherefore for such a Guru who had departed bodily 
to heaven, there ought to be no mourning. The 
ashes of his bier were collected and a platform built 
over them. The Khalsa, to whom the Guruship had 
been entrusted, declared that all those who visited 
the spot should receive due spiritual reward. 

The Guru departed from the scene of his earthly 

1 These lines were impressed on a seal made by the Sikhs after the 
Guru's demise, and were adopted by Ranjit Singh for his coinage 
after he had assumed the title of Maharaja. 


triumphs and reverses on Thursday, the fifth day of 
the bright half of Kartik, Sambat 1-765 (a.d. 1708), 
having exercised spiritual and temporal sovereignty 
over the Sikhs for three and thirty years, and resided 
in Nander for fourteen months and ten days. 

The Sikh temple at Nander, called Abchalnagar, 
is an imposing structure with a cupola and two 
minarets. The interior is surrounded by a wall of 
martial implements emblematic of the militant side 
of the Guru's character. It was built by Maharaja 
Ranjit Singh in 1832 in defiance of the Guru's 
interdiction. Additions are being continually made 
to the edifice by the contributions of devout Sikhs. 1 

Chapter XXXII 

We now proceed to continue the history of Banda. 
Having set out for the Panjab in accordance with the 
Guru's instructions, and in due time taken up his post 
on an eminence near Buria, he found there the rein- 
forcements promised by the Guru. They came in 
numbers and clamoured for food. To supply them- 
selves they were obliged to resort to forcible measures. 
Upon this there arose a violent altercation between 
the Sikhs and the villagers, in which the lafter were 

1 The state of Haidarabad has set aside the revenue of five villages, 
namely, Bishanpuri, Bari, Bansari, Masor, and Elki, for the mainte- 
nance of the shrine. The yearly revenue of these villages amounts to 
about eighteen thousand rupees. The Sikh custodians of the shrine 
receive a similar sum from the State for their own maintenance. 

It may here be mentioned that all places of worship in the Haidar- 
abad territory receive state assistance. A Hindu temple at the 
capital receives an annual subsidy of seventy thousand rupees. In 
every village Hindu as well as Muhammadan temples are treated as 
objects of the Nizam's munificence. Even Christian and Parsi 
churches have to acknowledge his bounty. 

There are twelve hundred Sikhs, including cavalry and infantry, 
commanded by twelve Risaldars, in the Nizam's army. The Risaldars 
reside at Nander each in turn for a whole year to protect the shrine 
and the Sikhs who have gathered round it from different countries. 
There are also three or four hundred Sikhs in the State Constabulary. 


SIKH V P. 246 


put to the sword. The inhabitants of two or three 
other villages were similarly treated. 

On seeing the licence granted to Banda's troops 
all the robbers of the country flocked to his standard. 
An outcry everywhere arose, and the people went 
in large numbers to complain to the governor of 
Mustafabad — a city five or six miles to the west of 
Buria — where were two thousand imperial troops 
under arms and ready for any emergency. These 
were dispatched with two large guns against Banda, 
whereupon many of his mercenary recruits deserted 
him. He encouraged all who remained, and promised 
them protection and pecuniary assistance. He then 
pulled forth one of the Guru's arrows, drew a line 
on the ground with it, and said that no bullet or 
arrow should cross the demarcation thus made. 
Upon this his troops rallied and made such a success- 
ful defence that the Muhammadans all fled, leaving 
their cannon behind them. After this victory several 
of the deserters returned, and rejoined Banda's 
army. His forces then proceeded to Mustafabad 
and laid it waste. 

Banda's next expedition was against Sadhaura. 
The imperial troops stationed there came forth to 
oppose him, but were easily defeated. They fled 
and took shelter behind their city walls. Banda's 
forces with great bravery captured the fort, and 
levelled it with the ground. Then ensued a general 
massacre of the inhabitants. Banda next marched 
and laid siege to Samana, a considerable town in 
the state of Patiala. Here there was a sanguinary 
battle. The city was sacked, and the male inhabi- 
tants put to the sword. 

He then proceeded to Sarhind. On the march 
his troops took supplies forcibly from villagers. 
Wazir Khan on hearing that Banda was marching 
against him sent to the viceroy of Lahore for assist- 
ance. Banda plundered Ambala on the way. He 
then marched to Banur where he was encountered 


by Wazir Khan's array, which had marched from 
Sarhind to oppose him. The battle began on the 
following day. When several of the Muhammadans 
were slain, Wazir Khan and Banda engaged in single 
combat. Banda thus addressed him, ' O sinner, 
thou art the enemy of Guru Gobind Singh. Thou 
hast shown him no respect, but on the contrary 
hast put to death his innocent children, and thereby 
committed a grievous and unpardonable crime, the 
punishment for which I am now going to deal thee. 
Thine army and thy country shall be destroyed at 
my hands.' Upon this Banda struck off his head 
with one blow of his sword. Then the whole of the 
Muhammadan army fled followed by the Sikhs, who 
possessed themselves of their horses, arms, tents, 
cannon, and other munitions of war, and then 
advanced in triumph to Sarhind. There they effected 
a general massacre. The Sikhs captured Suchanand 
who had instigated the murder of Guru Gobind 
Singh's children. They put an iron ring in his nose, 
and passing a rope through it, led him round the 
streets to beg. At every shop he was shoe-beaten 
until he died. Such of the inhabitants as were not 
killed prostrated themselves before the conqueror. 
He was not disposed to mercy, but gave an order 
to raze the city to the ground and plough up its 
site. In the process large treasure was found which 
materially assisted him in his further career of 
rapine, bloodshed, and devastation. 

Banda then went on an expedition to the east 
and plundered most of the hill rajas' states. After 
this he made a pilgrimage to Anandpur, and per- 
formed reverent worship at the shrine of Guru Teg 
Bahadur. He then made pilgrimages to the places 
hallowed by the visits of Guru Gobind Singh. The 
Raja of Chamba, in order to conciliate him, sent him a 
supremely beautiful girl. She had large eyes, her 
limbs were graceful and delicate, and she is described 
by the enthusiastic chronicler as the very image of 


the goddess of love. Banda on seeing her, parted 
with his caution, and completely forgot the Guru's 
injunctions. He dived into the ocean of sensuality, 
and thought not of the fate that awaited him on the 
forfeiture of his continence. 

Having subjected all the hill chiefs, Banda planned 
a tour in the Bist Doab, and proceeded to Jalandhar 
where he killed the Muhammadan male inhabitants. 
The Muhammadan women were converted to Sikhism, 
and became wives of the Sikh soldiers by the cere- 
mony of Anand. 1 He thence went into the Manjha 
and plundered Batala. Thence he marched to 
Lahore and put its viceroy Aslam Khan and all his 
principal officers to the sword. He there heard that 
troops sent by the Emperor Bahadur Shah were 
marching against him. He proceeded to meet them 
as far as Ludhiana and defeated them. He thence 
went on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Guru Nanak in 
the Gurdaspur district, where he met Bhai Ram Kaur, 
sixth in descent from Bhai Budha. Banda induced 
him to remain with him, probably with the object 
of persuading him, in imitation of his pious ancestor, 
to invest him with the dignity of Guru. 

Banda had by this time obtained supreme power 
from the neighbourhood of Dihli on the south to 
Lahore on the north. He appointed his own police, 
levied revenue, and ruled the country. Baba Binod 
Singh, whom the Guru had sent with him, gave him 
great assistance in administration. He endeavoured 
to dissuade him from the Chamba liaison and 
another of a disreputable character which Banda 
had also contracted. On one occasion when Baba 
Binod Singh remonstrated in open darbar with him 
for his departure from ascetic principles and the 
injunctions of the Guru, an altercation arose of such 
a violent character that Binod Singh drew his sword 
and would have cut off his head had not Kahn 
Singh interposed. Kahn Singh then foretold the 

1 Panth Parkash. 


departure of Banda's glory and his ignominious 

Banda next paid a visit to the great temple at 
Amritsar. He gave out that he had been empowered 
by the Guru to claim succession to the Guruship. 
The Sikhs then reflected that he did not live ac- 
cording to the rules prescribed for the Khalsa. In 
order to make trial of him, they put meat before 
him, at which he, as the result of early prejudice, 
became horrified. He fell into a passion with the 
Sikhs who had thus made trial of him, and they 
in turn grew enraged with him for refusing meat 
allowed by their religion and for his manifold irregu- 
larities. The result was that the Sikhs divided into 
two factions. Those who rejected Banda were 
called the Tat Khalsa, or real Sikhs, and those who 
accepted him, the Bandai Khalsa or followers of 
Banda. For the Sikh salutation, Wahguru ji ka 
Khalsa ! Wahguru ji ki faiah ! he substituted Fatah 
Darshan 'Victory to the sect', an alteration which 
was deemed apostasy from the orthodox faith. 

Another cause of the dissatisfaction of the Sikhs 
with Banda was that he disregarded a letter of 
Mata Sundari to the effect that he had now accom- 
plished the mission imposed on him by the Guru, 
namely, to bring the Governor of Sarhind to justice, 
and it was time for him to arrest his career of carnage 
and spoliation. Banda said that as Mata Sundari 
was only a woman she was not competent to 
give him advice or orders. Many Sikhs thinking 
that this was a slight to the Guru's wife, deserted 
Banda, and from that time his power began rapidly 
to decline. 

When the defeat of the army sent by the Emperor 
against Banda was heard of in Nander it was attri- 
buted to the Emperor's failure to keep his promise 
to the Guru. 

Banda continued to pursue his violent career until 
Bahadur Shah, himself at the head of a powerful 


avenging army, proceeded against him. Banda not 
deeming his troops sufficient to cope with the im- 
perial host fled to the mountains and took refuge 
in a fort called Lohgarh. The imperial army be- 
sieged him but the wily chief escaped in a desperate 
sally. A Hindu who remained behind to personate 
him was sent by the Subadar's orders to be executed 
in Dihli. Very soon after this the Emperor died 
in Lahore, and then ensued the usual Oriental 
scramble for the throne. His eldest son Jahandar 
Shah, who has been described as a drunken profligate, 
succeeded, but was murdered by his nephew Farrukh 
Siyar, son of Bahadur Shah's second son Azim-ul- 
Shan. While this struggle was in progress, Banda 
came forth from his hiding-place and again com- 
menced his depredations. 

Bayazid Khan, the new viceroy of Sarhind, went 
forth with his troops to oppose Banda, but was killed 
while at his prayers by a follower of the outlaw. On 
this the Emperor Farrukh Siyar sent Abd-ul-Samad 
Khan, also known as Diler Jang, to arrest Banda's 
progress. When Diler Jang thought his troops had 
surrounded Banda, there was no Banda to be seen. 
He and his followers had again fled and disappeared 
in the mountains. Diler Jang took up his quarters 
at Lahore to await the outlaw's reappearance. 
After a year Banda again emerged from his fastnesses 
and took possession of Kalanuar and Santokhgarh. 
He sent letters in all directions inviting the Sikhs 
to join his standard. In two months he received 
considerable reinforcements and defeated Sher Mu- 
hammad Daim, the general commanding at Ambala. 
The latter then went to Diler Jang at Lahore to com- 
plain of Banda's lawlessness and tyranny and concert 
more stringent measures for his repression. Diler J ang 
sent the Ambala general's complaint to the Emperor. 
Upon this the Emperor ordered Mir Ahmad Khan, 
the general commanding at Aurangabad, to join 
his forces with those of Diler Jang and the other 


generals in the Panjab and all proceed against 
Banda. The latter took refuge in Gurdaspur, and 
strongly entrenched himself. The Muhammadan 
army besieged him. The Sikhs were reduced to 
such extremities that they killed for food all animals 
in their possession. Baba Binod Singh, who had 
hitherto accompanied Banda, now abandoned him. 
Banda, when rendered totally helpless, sent a letter 
under flag of truce to Diler Jang offering to sur- 
render if his life were spared, and his troops treated 
with consideration. Diler Jang promised to in- 
tercede with the Emperor for him, and held out 
hopes of his pardon. When Banda gave up his 
arms, he was not allowed an interview with Diler Jang, 
but placed at once with all his followers under 
restraint. They were all sent to Dihli with many 
circumstances of disgrace — Banda himself being put 
into an iron cage — to be disposed of by the Emperor 

Here English testimony is available. The members 
of an English mission who went from Calcutta to 
Dihli in 1715 to petition the Emperor for certain 
privileges, have left on record that they saw a 
procession of eight hundred Sikh prisoners marched 
through Dihli with two thousand bleeding heads 
borne aloft on poles. The Sikhs vied with one 
another for precedence in death. 

While the executions were in progress, the mother 
of one of the prisoners, a young man just arrived 
at manhood, having obtained some influential sup- 
port, pleaded the cause of her son with great feeling 
and earnestness before the Emperor. She repre- 
sented that her son had suffered imprisonment and 
hardship at the hands of the sect. His property 
was plundered, and he was made prisoner. While 
in captivity, he was, without any fault of his own, 
introduced into the sect, and now stood innocent 
among those sentenced to death. Farrukh Siyar 
pitied the woman, and mercifully sent an officer 
with orders to release the youth. She arrived 


with the order of release just as the executioner 
was standing with his bloody sword upheld over 
the young man's head. When she showed the 
imperial order the youth broke out into complaints, 
saying, ' My mother speaketh falsely : I with heart 
and soul join my fellow-believers in devotion to 
the Guru : send me quickly after my companions.' 
Needless to say his request was cheerfully granted. 

Here Baba Kahn Singh and Baba Baz Singh, 
whom the Guru had sent with Banda, succeeded 
in effecting their escape. Ghulam Husain Khan, 
author of the Siyar ul Mutaakharin, states that 
Banda's son was put on his lap, and Banda was 
obliged to cut his throat in the manner of Muham- 
madan sacrifice. He did so, not unwillingly, lest 
the child should afterwards be circumcised and made 
a Muhammadan. 

Muhammad Amin Khan, when he had an inter- 
view with Banda, said to him, ' The marks of sense 
and intelligence are visible on thy countenance : how 
is it thou hast never thought about the recompense 
of thy deeds, and that in a short span of life with 
a dreadful futurity thou hast been guilty of such 
cruelty and of such detestable actions to Hindus 
and Musulmans ? ' He replied, ' In all religions 
and sects, whenever disobedience and rebellion 
among mortal men passeth all bounds, the Great 
Avenger raiseth up a severe man like me for the 
punishment of their sins and the due reward of 
their deeds. 

When He wisheth to desolate the world, 

He placeth dominion in the hands of a tyrant. 

' When He desireth to give the tyrant the recompense 
of his works, He sendeth a powerful man like thee 
to prevail over him, and to give him his due reward 
in this world: as thou and I can see.' On this 
Banda's flesh was torn from his body by red-hot 
pincers, and he expired under the horrible torture. 


During his execution he uttered the following 
warning to his fellow creatures : — 

Who hath not suffered for his acts? 
Who hath not reaped what he hath sown ? 
Forget not that you shall obtain retribution for your 

Wheat springeth from wheat, and barley from barley. 1 

Though such was the fate of Banda, yet Guru 
Gobind Singh had infused such martial spirit into 
his Sikhs, that they not long after obtained possession 
of the Panjab, and put an end to Muhammadan 

Chapter XXXIII 

Mata Sahib Kaur, the Guru's youngest wife, died 
of grief very soon after her husband. She was 
cremated at the shrine of Guru Har Krishan in Dihli. 
When A jit Singh, the boy adopted by Mata Sundari, 
the Guru's remaining wife, grew up, she provided 
him with a wife. He begot a son called Hathi Singh. 
Ajit Singh imitated the late Guru as much as possible. 
He used to hold court, call himself a guru, and enter- 
tain a retinue. He endeavoured to obtain from 
Mata Sundari the arms belonging to Guru Har Gobind, 
which the late Guru had given to Sahib Kaur on her 
departure from Nander. Ajit Singh believed that 
if he wore them, every one would hail him as Guru. 
When he made his demand for the arms he was 
sharply reproved by Mata Sundari. On this he 
drew his dagger to kill her, but some friends inter- 
posed. Mata Sundari then cursed him, said he 
should forfeit his faith, and die an untimely death. 
One day as he was riding in the bazar his herald 
said to him, 'O guru, behold the Muhammadans 
praying.' The Muhammadans overheard this, and, 

1 The Persian historian, Khali Khan, gives many other details 
of Banda's career in the Panjab, but they are not generally accepted 
by the Sikhs. 


believing that he ridiculed their religion, reported to 
the Emperor that under a Muhammadan administra- 
tion the Sikhs were mocking the faithful. The 
Emperor at the instigation of the qazis ordered Ajit 
Singh to cut off his hair and appear thus humbled 
before him. If he failed in this, the Emperor reserved 
to himself the right to punish him as he thought fit. 
Ajit Singh, fearing death, cut off his hair, and grovelled 
before the Emperor. Mata Sundari was enraged on 
hearing of this act of apostasy and told him never 
again to show her his face. She drew up a 
document to the effect that, though she had adopted 
and cherished Ajit Singh as a son, she now re- 
nounced him. She then entrusted Guru Har Gobind's 
arms to the faithful Sikhs of Dihli, and expressed her 
desire to live no longer in such an evil and ill-omened 
city. The Sikhs, however, prevailed on her to alter 
her determination. Ajit Singh now abandoned by 
the Sikhs went to beg at Mata Sundari's door. She 
sent him money, but would never consent to see 

A Muhammadan faqir on whom Ajit Singh when 
in good circumstances used to bestow money, one 
day met him in the Dihli bazar, and asked for alms. 
Ajit Singh in his poverty could only give him a few 
copper coins. The faqir was not satisfied, but fol- 
lowed him to his house, and further importuned 
him. He would not leave but dogged his steps as 
he went shooting during the afternoon. Ajit Singh 
complained to his servants of the annoyance the 
beggar was causing him, whereupon they beat the 
man so severely that he died. They disposed of 
his body by throwing it into a well for the purpose 
of concealment. 

The faqir's fate gradually became known, and 
the Emperor ordered Ajit Singh to be arrested and 
brought before him. Ajit Singh refused to obey the 
order, and put himself in a posture of defence. His 
house was besieged, and his adherents fought bravely 


to protect him. He contrived to send his wife and 
son Hathi Singh, both disguised in soiled clothes, to 
Mata Sundari. He then succeeded in escaping from his 
house and concealed himself in a straw stack belonging 
to Hindus who lived near. The owner of the stack 
discovered him and on hearing that a proclamation 
had been issued for his arrest, informed the authorities. 
Ajit Singh was seized, tied to an elephant's tail, and 
dragged through the city. At a turning in one of the 
streets the elephant trod on his head, upon which his 
brains oozed out. 

Mata Sundari, thinking her position unsafe in 
Dihli on account of having received Ajit Singh's 
wife and son, put into execution her long-cherished 
project of abandoning that city and proceeded 
with her charge to Bhagatgarh. The head man of 
the place would not allow her, through fear of the 
Emperor, to remain in his city. She thence went to 
Mathura, where she was received with great distinc- 
tion. The governor of the city induced the Raja of 
Jaipur to grant her the revenue of two villages and 
also a suitable place of residence. In Mathura Hathi 
Singh grew up to manhood, adopted his father's 
style, and maintained a retinue of sixty mounted 
orderlies. He tried to compose hymns but inspiration 
failed him. He then abstracted some from the 
Granth Sahib, and wherever the name Nanak occurred 
inserted his own. Mata Sundari on being informed of 
this became very wroth, abandoned Hathi Singh 
and his mother at Mathura, and returned to Dihli. 
During the invasion of Ahmad Shah, Hathi Singh 
fled from Mathura to Burhanpur, where he subse- 
quently died, leaving no male issue. 

When Mata Sundari arrived in Dihli she by the 
kind offices of Raja Ram, the Emperor's minister, 
obtained possession of her house and property, which 
had been seized by the Muhammadans after her 
departure. She spent the remainder of her days 
there, and died in comparative worldly comfort in 


Sambat 1804 (a. d. 1747). Her body was cremated 
near the shrine of Guru Har Krishan. 

It will be remembered that when the Guru 
evacuated Anandpur, he sent Gulab Rai and Sham 
Singh with a letter to the Raja of Nahan requesting 
him to grant them the means of subsistence. The 
raja gave them two villages. Gulab Rai afterwards 
purchased Anandpur for sixty thousand rupees from 
the Kahlur Raja and returned to live there. He 
caused himself to be worshipped by the Sikhs and 
carried his unseemly pretensions so far as to actually 
instal himself in the Guru's seat. Sadhu Gurbakhsh, 
who had been an attendant on the Guru and had by 
him been left in charge of Guru Teg Bahadur's shrine, 
remonstrated against the usurpation, whereupon 
Gulab Rai became very angry, and addressed him 
in offensive language. Gurbakhsh then cursed him 
saying, ' Thou and thy line shall perish ! ' In a short 
time Gulab Rai and his two sons died. After that 
Gulab Rai's widow took theofferings of the Sikhs, and 
remained in possession of Anandpur. When she was 
on the point of death she appointed Surjan Singh, 
Sham Singh's son, now old and experienced, as heir 
of Anandpur. His descendants still occupy that 
city, and receive a yearly revenue from the Indian 
government and the Sikh states. 

A Sikh writer called Gurdas, who lived long after 
the time of Guru Gobind Singh, wrote a War in his 
praise which the Sikhs appended to the compositions 
of Bhai Gur Das, and which now appears as the 
forty-first War. The following pauris are extracted 
from it : — 

Pauri 15 

Guru Gobind was manifested as the tenth avatar. 

He repeated the name of the Creator who is unseen, 
eternal, and stainless. 

He established the Khalsa, a sect of his own, and gave it 
great glory. 



Wearing long hair he grasped the sword and smote all his 

He put on the kachh of continence and practised arms. 

He established the Sikh war-cry and was victorious in 
mighty battles. 

He caused all demon enemies to be surrounded and 
trampled upon. 

Then his endless praise was gradually proclaimed through- 
out the world. 

Thus arose the race of Singhs who wore blue clothes, 

Who killed all the hostile Turks, and repeated God's name. 

No one could withstand them, so the Turkish leaders 
decamped : 

Rajas, kings, and amirs all became the dust beneath the 
Singhs' feet. 

Great hills trembled when they heard their victorious 

There was then great commotion throughout the whole 
world ; the enemy abandoned their homes, 

And perished in the great confusion and trouble that 

There is none so great a destroyer of fear as the true Guru. 
He handled and displayed such a sword as none could 

Well done ! well done Gobind Singh ! thou wert at once 
Guru and disciple ! 

Pauri 16 

By the or der of the immortal God the great Guru obtained 

Then he gradually established the Khalsa, whole-bodied 1 
and manly. 

Then aro:;e the roaring of the Singhs (lions) which terrified 
the whole world. 

They levelled with the earth the shrines of Hindus and 

1 Sabil. Not circumcised like the Muhammadans, and not cutting 
their hair or shaving like the Hindus. 


They cancelled the Veds, the Purans, the six Hindu 
systems and the Quran. 

They abolished the call to prayer and the prayer-carpet of 
the Muhammadans and killed the Turkish monarchs. 

Temporal and spiritual leaders all hid themselves or became 
converted to Sikhism. 

The Mullas and the Qazis grew weary of reading, but 
found not God's secret. 

Hundreds of thousands of Pandits, Brahmans, and 
Astrologers had become entangled in worldly affairs. 

Worshipping stones and temples they had become exceed- 
ingly superstitious. 

Both the Hindus and the Muhammadans were altogether 
engaged in deception. 

Consequently a third religion, the Khalsa, arose and 
became renowned. 

The Singhs by the order of Guru Gobind Singh seized the 
sword and wielded it. 

They killed all their enemies and caused the name of the 
Immortal God to be repeated. 

Then God's order was promulgated in the world. 

The drum of victory resounded and drowned the cry of 

The great sagacious Guru established a third sect. 
Well done ! well done Gobind Singh ! thou wert at once 
Guru and disciple ! 

S 2 




In the year a.d. 1734 while in Amritsar Bhai Mani 
Singh compiled the compositions and translations of 
Guru Gobind Singh and of the bards who were 
associated with him. The compilation was subse- 
quently known as the Granth of the tenth Guru, 
though Mani Singh did not give it that title. 1 We 

1 After Mani Singh's execution the Sikhs took the volume for 
examination and approval to a village in the Patiala State called 
Talwandi Sabo, now known among the Sikhs as Damdama. Damdama 
was selected for examination of the volume as several learned Sikhs 
resided there, and that distant village was also deemed a place of 

Several intelligent Sikhs were of opinion that the tales and transla- 
tions in the volume, as at present found, ought not to have been 
included in it, for many of them are of Hindu origin, others not fit for 
perusal, and none comparable with the hymns contained in the Ad 
Granth. The Sikhs therefore maintained that the Hikayat or Persian 
tales, and the whole of the Tria Chariiar, or stories illustrating the 
deceit of women, should be omitted, and included in a separate volume, 
which might be read, not for a religious purpose, but for the entertain- 
ment and delectation of the public. 

While this discussion was in progress, one Mahtab Singh of 
Mirankot arrived from Blkaner at Damdama. He had vowed to kill 
one Massa Ranghar, a Muhammadan official, who had obtained pos- 
session of the Golden Temple, and who used the place as a theatre 
for dancing women ; and he was on his way to Amritsar to carry 
out his design. Mahtab Singh vowed that if he succeeded and re- 
turned to Damdama, Mani Singh's Granth should remain in one 
volume as he had arranged it. If, on the contrary, Massa killed 
him, the Granth might be arranged according to the wishes of the 
objectors. Mahtab Singh slew Massa Ranghar, returned in triumph 
to Damdama, and Mani Singh's Granth was allowed to remain accord- 
ing to his design. 

There are many obvious defects in the arrangement of the tenth 
Guru's Granth as it stands. For instance, there are several questions 
put in doharas 201 to 210 of the Akal Ustat to which no answer is 
given. Chhands 211 to 230 are obviously out of place, and belong to 


now proceed to give translations from it of such 
doctrinal and historical portions as we believe to 
represent the Guru's own opinions and acts. 

Jap 1 

There is one God, the true, the great, and the 

bounteous : — 

The tenth Guru spoke with his holy mouth 2 — 

God hath no quoit 3 or marks, no colour, no caste, no 


No form, no complexion, no outline, no costume ; none 
can in any way describe Him. 

He is immovable, fearless, luminous, and measureless in 
might ; 

He is accounted King of kings, Lord of millions of Indars ; 

He is Sovereign of the three worlds, demigods, men, and 
demons ; the woods and dales declare Him indescribable. 

O Lord, who can tell all Thy names ? the wise call Thee 
special names according to Thy deeds. 

Akal Ustat 
(Praise of the Immortal) 
May we have the protection of the immortal Being ! 4 

the second Chandi Charitar ; and the last Chhand of the Akal Ustat 
is not complete. The Gyan Parbodh too has been left incomplete. 
There are besides many defects of arrangement. 

1 The Japji of Guru Gobind Singh is held by the Sikhs in the same 
estimation as the Japji of Guru Nanak. The Hindus have a work 
entitled Vishnu Sahasar Nam — Vishnu's thousand names. The Japji 
was composed to supply the Sikhs with a similar number of epithets 
of the Creator. 

2 This line is Bhai Mani Singh's composition. 

3 Chakr. This word is also applied to depressions in ihe body 
noticed for mystical, astrological, or cheiromantic purposes. 

4 The tenth Guru invented new names for God — Akal (the 
Immortal), Sarbloh (All-steel), Mahanloh (Great-sleel), Sarbkal (All- 
death), Mahankal (Great-death), Asidhuj, Asiketu, and Kharagketu 
(having the sword on His banner), Asipani (sword in His hand), that is, 
God as the impersonation and source of bravery. 


May we have the protection of All-steel ! 
May we have the protection of All-death ! 
May we have the protection of All-steel ! 

I bow to the one primal God 

Who extended sea and land, the nether regions, and the 
firmament. 1 

He is the primal Being, unseen, and immortal ; 
His light is manifest in the fourteen worlds. 
He is contained in the ant as in the elephant ; 
He deemeth the rich and the poor alike ; 
He is unequalled, unseen, and eternal ; 
He is the Searcher of all hearts ; 

He is invisible, indestructible, and without distinguishing 
dress I ; 

He is without passion, colour, form, or outline ; 
He is devoid of caste marks of every kind ; 
He is the primal Being, peerless and changeless ; 
He hath no enemy, no friend, no father, no mother ; 
He is far from all and near all ; 

His dwelling is in sea and land, the nether and upper 

Boundless is His form, and boundless His voice ; 
In the shelter of His feet dwelleth Bhawani 3 ; 
Brahma and Vishnu have not found His limits ; 
The four-faced Brahma pointeth out that God is indes- 

He made millions of Indars and Bawans ; * 
He created and destroyed Brahmas and Shivs. 
The fourteen worlds He made as a play, 
And again blended them with Himself. 
He made endless demons, deities, serpents, 
Celestial singers, Yakshas, excellent and beautiful. 
He is spoken of in the past, the future, and the present, 
And He knoweth the secrets of every heart. 

1 This is the traditional meaning of mahlal, but it receives no sup- 
port from dictionaries. See Pandit Tara Singh's Nirnai Sagar. 

2 Anbhekh. The word also means without form. 

3 Parbati or Durga, the consort of Shiv. 

4 Bawan was the dwarf incarnation of Vishnu. 


He is not attached to any one love ; 
He is contained in the light of all souls ; 
He recognizeth all people and all places ; 
He is free from death and immortal ; 
He is the invisible, imperceptible Being, distinct from all 
the world. 

He is immortal, undecaying, imperishable, and of change- 
less purpose. 

He is the Destroyer and Creator of all ; 

He is the Remover of sickness, sorrow, and sin. 

He who with single heart meditateth on Him even for 
a moment 

Shall not fall into Death's noose. 

Thou art without sorrow, without form, yet beautiful, the 
King of kings, the Giver of great gifts. 

The Preserver of life, the Giver of milk and sons, the 
Remover of sickness and sorrow, sometimes honourable and 
inspiring great honour. 

Thou art a student of science, an unrivalled incarnation, 
Thou appearest as a Sidh, Thou art the glory of purity. 

Thou art the net 1 of youth, the death of Death, the torment 
of enemies, the life of friends. 

The following ten Sawaiyas, or quatrains, are 
recited at the administration of the pahul or baptism 
according to the rites of the tenth Guru : — 


I have wandered and in their own homes seen crowds of 
Saravagis, Sudhs 2 , Sidhs, Jogis, and Jatis, 

Brave demons, demigods feasting on nectar, and crowds of 
saints of various sects. 

1 This is said to mean — Thou attractest the world by Thy beauty. 

2 Sudhs mean the clean in contradistinction to the Saravagis who are 
reputed to be dirty in their habits. 



I have seen the religions of all countries, but none appeared 
to be that of the Lord of life. 

Without a particle of the love and favour of God they are 
only worth a ratti x . 


Emperors before whom strong armed kings used to lowly 
bow their heads in countless numbers ; 2 

Who possessed proud elephants with golden trappings, 
incomparable, tall, painted with bright colours ; 

Millions of horses which bounded like deer, and were 
fleeter than the wind — 

What mattered it how great those emperors were ? they 
at last departed barefooted. 


Though they roamed and conquered all countries beating 
their various drums ; 

Though many beautiful elephants trumpeted loud, and 
thousands of horses of royal breed neighed for them — 

Who can number such kings in the past, the future, and 
the present ? They cannot be counted — 

Yet without worshipping the name of God the Lord of 
wealth, they went at last to their final home. 


Men bathe at places of pilgrimage, exercise mercy, curb 
their passions, bestow gifts, exercise abstinence, and per- 
form various special ceremonies — 

The Veds, the Purans, the Quran, and the other books of 
the Musalmans, the earth and heaven all have I seen ; 

Thousands of f asters, Jatis who practised continence, all 
have I carefully observed ; 

1 The seed of the Abrus precalorius (N. O. Leguminosae) used in 
India as a small weight (see Vol. I, p. 158, n. 1). 

2 Also translated — regardless of their own position. 


Yet without worshipping the name of the one God and 
loving Him even kings are of no account. 


Trained soldiers, powerful, irresistible, well accoutred with 
coats of mail crush their enemies ; 

Filled with high martial spirit they would put mountains 
to flight, themselves unshaken ; 

They would shatter their enemies, destroy rebels, crush 
the pride of furious elephants ; 

Yet without the favour of God, the Lord of wealth, they 
should all depart at last and leave the world. 


Countless heroes very valiant without hesitation face the 
edge of the sword, 

Subdue countries, crush rebels, and the pride of furious 

Break powerful forts and even without fighting 1 conquer 
in every direction — 

But their efforts avail not ; the Lord is the Commander of 
them all — the suppliants are many while there is but one 


Even the demons, gods, serpents, and ghosts who repeat 
God's name in the past, future, and present ; 

All the beings which in sea and land every moment set 
up God in their hearts, 

Shall find their good deeds and glory increase ; they 
shall hear the voices of gratulation and the multitude of 
their sins shall depart. 

The congregations of saints wander happy in the world ; 
all their enemies on beholding them are cowed. 

Subatanhi. Also translated — at a word, rapidly. 



Lords of men, and elephants, rulers who reign in the 
three worlds, 

Who perform millions of ablutions, make gifts of elephants 
and other animals, and marry brides at various splendid 
swayamvars 1 — 

They with Brahma, Shiv, Vishnu, and Indar shall at last 
be entangled and fall into Death's noose ; 

But they who touch the feet of the Lord of wealth shall 
not again resume a body. 


What availeth it to sit closing both eyes and meditating 
like a crane ? 

This world is lost, and the next also for those who go 
about bathing in the seven seas. 
They pass their lives in vain, dwelling in the midst of 

sin. 2 

I speak verily ; hear me all ye people — they who love 
God have obtained Him. 


Some worshipping stones put them on their heads, some 
suspend lingams from their necks. 

Some see God in the south, some bow their heads to the 

Some fools worship idols, others busy themselves with 
worshipping the dead. 

The whole world entangled in false ceremonies hath not 
found God's secret. 

God is not subject to birth or death, 

He is acquainted with the excellent fourteen sciences, 3 

1 Assemblages in ancient times at which young women selected 
their husbands. 

2 Also translated — sitting in the company of the vicious. 

3 These included all ancient Indian knowledge. Different writers 
have given different lists of them. 


He is without stain and infinite, 

He is of unfading brightness and generous, 

His form is not quickly recognized, 

He is head of the saints of the whole world, 

He is the highest object of praise ; by Him the earth 
and sun are supported ; 

He is the treasury of the eighteen supernatural powers, 1 

He is the Dispeller of sorrow in all the worlds, 

He is not subject to time, to death, or to karma, 

He is versed in all religious ceremonies, 

His glory is infrangible and unequalled, 

He established all establishment, 

He is without sorrow, indivisible, and impenetrable. 

Brahma by his four Veds sings His praises, 

The Veds speak of Him as indescribable, 

Brahma speaks of Him as endless — 

His glory is unknowable and unequalled. 

Indivisible, immeasurable, and unestablished by any 

He made the extension of the world : 

He created it with the utmost thought. 

His form is endless and infrangible, 

His glory is peerless and dazzling, 

He is invisible and noble, 

He made millions of Indars and kings, 

Many Brahmas and Vishnus who meditate on Him, 

Many Rams, Krishans, and prophets — 

No one is acceptable without devotion. 

There are many oceans, mountains great as Bind, 2 

Many fishes, tortoises, and serpents, 3 

1 There are generally only eight sidhis or supernatural powers enume- 
rated — anuma, to become so small as to be invisible ; mahima, to be 
able to increase one's size indefinitely; garuivata, to make oneself 
heavy ; laghuma, to make oneself light ; prapli, to go wherever one 
pleases ; wast karna, to be able to reduce others to subjection ; ishta, 
to obtain glory or regal greatness ; kam, to be able to satisfy all one's 
desires. A list of the eighteen supernatural powers may be left to 
the reader's imagination. 

2 Bindhiachal, a holy peak of the Himalayas. 

3 The Sheshuag of the Hindus. 


Many deities and sons of Brahma, 

Many incarnations of Krishan and Vishnu, 

Many Indars to sweep before His door, 

Many Veds and Brahmas, 

Many Rudars 1 and Bawans, 

And many unequalled Rams and Krishans. 

Many men recite amatory poetry, 

Many tell the secrets of the Veds, 

Many recite the Shastars and Simritis, 

And some read the Purans. 

Many perform fire sacrifices, 

Many painful penances with bodies reversed, 

Many lift their arms in the fashion of the Sanyasis. 

Some don the garb of Jogis and abandon the world, 

Some perform the niwali feat, 

Some practise painful fasting, 

Some go on pilgrimages and give boundless alms, 

Some are generous in their worldly acts, 

Some perform unequalled burnt offerings, 

Some obtain regal state and dispense justice, 

Some act according to the Shastars and the Simritis, 

And some in opposition to the Veds. 

Many wander in different countries, 

And many remain fixed in one place. 

Some pray in water, 

Some endure five fires on their bodies, 

Some dwell in the forest, 

Some perform the endless duties of a family man, 
Some are generous in the fashion of kings, 
Some are free from sickness and error, 
Some perform good and others bad acts, 
Some pose as Shaikhs, others as Brahmans, 
Some perform the duties of kings in an incomparable 

Some are free from bodily and mental suffering, 
Some are subject to the service of a special god, 
Some are poor, others the sons of kings, 

1 Rudar was the god who wielded the thunder. 


And some are the incarnations of Vyas. 
Many Brahmas read the Veds, 
And many Sheshnags repeat God's name. 
Some are Bairagis, others Sanyasis, 
And some wander in the guise of Udasis. 
Know that all these things are vain, 
And that all such religion is fruitless. 
Without the support of the One Name 
Deem all religious ceremonies as superstition. 

God is in the water, God is in the dry land, 
God is in the heart, God is in the forest, 
God is in the mountain, God is in the cave, 
God is in the earth, God is in heaven, 
God is here, God is there, 
God is in space, God is in time, 
God is invisible, God is without a garb, 
God is without sin, God is without enmity, 
God is deathless, God is uncherished, 
God is impenetrable, God is invulnerable. 1 
God is not moved by charms or spells ; 
God has His own light, He cannot be moved by incanta- 

God is without caste, God is without lineage, 
God is without friends, God hath no mother, 
God feeleth no physical or mental suffering. 
God is without doubt, God hath no karma, 
God is invincible, God is fearless, 
God is infrangible, God is indissoluble. 
God cannot be punished, God is radiant, 
God is transcendent, God is inscrutable. 

Repeat God's name, establish God's name in thy heart : 
Do penance unto God, and repeat His name. 
Thou, O God, art in the water, Thou art in the dry land, 
Thou art in the river, Thou art in the sea, 

1 Abhed is often translated inscrutable. 



Thou art in the tree, Thou art in its leaves, 
Thou art in the earth, Thou art in the firmament. 
Thy name is repeated again and again, Thy name is 
fixed in man's heart. 
Thou art space, Thou art time, 
Thou art the occupant, Thou art the place, 
Thou art unborn, Thou art fearless, 
Thou art impalpable, Thou art indestructible, 
Thou art continence, Thou art fasting, 
Thou art deliverance, Thou art wisdom, 
Thou alone art, Thou alone art. 

The following is a satire on various penances and 
austerities practised by Hindu sects in India : — 

Swine eat filth ; elephants and donkeys bespatter them- 
selves with dust ; jackals live at places of cremation ; 

Owls live in tombs ; deer wander alone in the forest ; 
trees ever die in silence. 

The man who restraineth his seed should only have the 
credit of the hermaphrodite; monkeys ever wander bare- 

How shall the wretch who is subject to a woman and 
devoted to lust and wrath, be saved without the knowledge 
of the one God ? 

It is known that demons live in the forest, all children 
on earth drink milk, and serpents live on air. 

They who eat grass and renounce the desire of wealth, 
are no more than calves and oxen. 

They who fly in the heavens have only the attribute of 
birds ; they who engage in meditation resemble cranes, 
cats, and wolves. 

All great gyanis who knew, but asserted not themselves, 
never allowed such deceit as the above to enter their hearts 
even by mistake. 


They who live in the earth should be called the offspring 
of worms ; they who live in the heavens should be called 

They who eat fruit should be called the offspring of 
monkeys ; they who wander unseen should be accounted 
as ghosts. 

They who float on water are like gangeris ; 1 they who 
eat fire like chakors ; 

They who worship the sun have the attribute of the 
lotus ; they who worship the moon of water-lilies. 

The tortoise, the fish, and the shark may all be called 
Narayan 2 ; if you speak of God as Kaulnabh, the lake in 
which there is a lotus is also Kaulnabh. 3 

If you speak of God as Gopinath, all Gujars are Gopinaths, 
all cowherds Gopals ; if you call God Rikhikesh, that is 
a name taken by superiors of religious orders. 

If you call God Madhav, that is the bumble-bee ; Kaniya 
is the name of the woodpecker ; if you speak of God as the 
Destroyer of Kans, you speak of the myrmidons of Death. 

Fools utter names, but know not their meanings, and 
worship not Him by whom man is protected. 

God is the Protector and Destroyer of the world, Com- 
passionate to the poor, Punisher of enemies, ever the 
Cherisher, and free from Death's noose. 

Jogis, wearers of matted hair, celibates, the true, great 
Brahmacharis who undergo hunger and thirst in their 
divine meditation, 

They who perform the niwali feat, who sacrifice to water, 
fire, and wind, who hold their heads down, who stand or 
one leg and never sit, 

Men, serpents, deities, and demons find not God's secrets ; 
the Veds and the books of the Musalmans say that God is 

1 Small black flies on Indian rivers. 

2 God who moves in the waters. 

3 One of the names of Vishnu. He was supposed by the Hindus 
to have a lotus in his navel. 


Peacocks skip about dancing, the thunder roareth and 
the lightning presenteth many phases. 1 

// God be obtained by being cold or hot, there is nothing 
colder than the moon, nothing hotter than the sun, if by 
being a raja God may be obtained, there is no king equal to 
Indar who filleth the whole world. 

Nowhere can be found a penitent like a Shiv, a reader 
of the Veds like primal Brahma, or penitents like the sons 
of Brahma ; 

Yet without divine knowledge they are all subject to the 
noose of Death and ever wander through the cycle of the 

One Shiv was born, one died, and one was born again ; 
there have also been many incarnations of Ram Chandar 
and Krishan. 

How many Brahmas and Vishnus have there been ! how 
many Veds and Purans ! how many collections of Simritis 
have been and passed away ! 

How many preachers and Madars ! 2 how many Castors 
and Polluxes ! how many Ansavatars 3 have succumbed to 
death ! 

How many priests and prophets have there been ! they 
are so many that they cannot be counted ; from dust they 
sprang and to dust they returned. 

Jogis, Jatis, Brahmacharis 4 , and very great kings, the 
shadow of whose umbrellas extended for many miles, 

Who wandered subduing kingdoms and crushing the pride 
of very great kings, 

Sovereigns like Man 5 and lords of the umbrella like 

1 The reference is to dancing and roaring faqTrs. 

2 Monadi Madar — Monadi is understood to be the Arabic munadi, 
a proclamation or preaching. Madar was a celebrated Muhammadan 
saint. If momin-i-din madar be read, the translation will be — How 
many orthodox Muhammadans and supporters of the faith ! 

3 An incomplete incarnation of Vishnu. 

4 Brahmacharis are young men who preserve continence during 
their studentship. Manu, the Hindu law-giver, fixes its limit at 
twenty-five years of age. 

5 Mandhatri, a son miraculously born to Yuvanashwa of the line of 
Ikshwaku, and author of a hymn in the Rig Veda. 


Dilip, 1 great kings who prided themselves on the strength 
of their arms, 

Proud men like Dara, 2 like the kings of Dihli, and like 
Durjodhan, having enjoyed the earth in their turn at 
last were blended with it. 

Artillerymen, huntsmen wearing decoy dresses, and 
they who eat opium bow their heads many times. 

What availeth it that men perform prostrations of different 
kinds to God ? they are like wrestlers practising the exercise 
of dand. 3 

What availeth it that men lie with their faces turned 
up ? If they do not heartily bow to the supreme God, they 
are only as sick men. 

How can he who is the slave of worldly desires and ever 
clever in obtaining wealth, obtain the one Lord of the world 
without faith in Him ? 

He into whose ear an earwig hath entered shaketh his 
head ; he who hath lost a friend or son beateth his head in 

For grazing on akk, eating fruits and flowers, and ever 
wandering in the forests, there is no animal like a goat. 

What if a sheep rub its head against trees and thus take 
off its hair ? as for eating earth, call the leech and ask it. 

How can he who is a slave to worldly desires and addicted 
to lust and wrath, find God without faith ? 

The peacocks dance, the frogs croak, and the clouds ever 
thunder ; 

The tree ever standeth on one leg in the forest ; as for 
those who take not life, the Saravagi bloweth on the ground 
before putting his feet on it ; 

1 He belonged to the solar race, and was ancestor of Ram Chandar. 

2 Darius. 

3 An oriental exercise in which a man first lies down flat on the 
ground, then leans on his hands so as to lift his body, and again 
depresses it so as almost to touch the ground with his chest. 



The stones through several ages remain in one place ; the 
ravens and the kites travel from country to country. 

How can the wretch who is without divine knowledge 
and who is never absorbed in the great Benefactor, be saved 
without faith in Him ? 

Like an actor man sometimes poseth as a Jogi or Bairagi ; 
sometimes he assumeth the guise of a Sanyasi. 

Sometimes he appeareth to live on air, sometimes he 
sitteth in an attitude of contemplation, sometimes in his 
infatuation for pelf he singeth many praises of men. 

Sometimes he is a Brahmachari, sometimes he produceth 
a garden in his hand, sometimes he holdeth a fakir's staff 
and deceiveth men's senses. 

He who is subject to worldly desires danceth with 
gestures ; but being devoid of divine knowledge, how 
shall he obtain heaven ? 

In the cold season the jackal barketh five times, and the 
elephant and the donkey utter various cries. 

What availeth it to be cut in twain by the saw at Banaras? 
thieves cut men in pieces and kill them with axes. 

What availeth it that a fool hath put a halter round his 
neck and drowned himself in the Ganges ? Thags put men 
to death by putting halters round their necks. 

Without meditation on divine knowledge fools are drowned 
in hell's river ; and without faith how can there be any 
such meditation ? 

If any one were to obtain by penance the Lord who 
suffereth not pain, the wounded man suffereth pain of 
many kinds. 

If any one were by repeating God's name to obtain God 
who cannot be obtained by lip-worship l t the warbler ever 
uttereth ' Tu hi ! tu hi ! ' 

If any one were to obtain God by flying in the heavens, 
the bird called anal wandereth in the firmament. 

1 Ajap Dev, also translated — God who repeats no name. 


If salvation be obtained by burning oneself in the fire, 
why should not the Sati and also the serpent which liveth 
in hell be saved ? 1 

The following is a homily on the equality of men 
and on the Hindu and Muhammadan forms of 
worship : — 

One man by shaving his head is accepted as a Sanyasi, 
another as a Jogi or a Brahmachari, a third as a Jati. 

Some men are Hindus and others Musalmans ; among the 
latter are Rafazis, 2 Imams, and Shafais — know that all men 
are of the same caste. 

Karta (the Creator) and Karim (the Beneficent) are the 
same, Razak (the Provider) and Rahim (the Merciful) are 
the same ; let no man even by mistake suppose there is 
a difference. 3 

Worship the one God who is the one divine Guru for all ; 
know that His Form is one, and that He is the one light 
diffused in all. 

The temple and the mosque are the same ; the Hindu 
worship and the Musalman prayer are the same ; all men 
are the same ; it is through error they appear different. 

Deities, demons, Yakshas, heavenly singers, Musalmans, 
and Hindus adopt the customary dress of their different 

All men have the same eyes, the same ears, the same 
body, the same build, 1 a compound of earth, air, fire, and 

Allah and Abhekh are the same ; the Purans and the 

1 The Guru rejects the belief that a widow who cremates herself 
with her husband's corpse obtains salvation. The second part of the 
line may also be translated — If salvation were obtained by dwelling 
beneath the earth, the snake which dwelleth in the nether regions 
should also be saved. 

2 Certain Shiahs or followers of Ali who renounced their allegiance 
to Zaid, grandson of Husain. 

3 There is not one God for the Hindus and another for the 

4 Ban, also translated — customs, habits. 

T 2 


Quran are the same ; they are all alike ; it is the one God 
who created all. 

The following gives the Sikh conception of the 
manner in which souls emanated from God and are 
again absorbed in Him : — 

As from one fire millions of sparks arise ; though rising 
separately, they unite again in the fire ; 

As from one heap of dust several particles of dust fill 
the air, and on filling it again blend with the dust ; 

As in one stream millions of waves are produced ; the 
waves being made of water all become water ; 

So from God's form non-sentient and sentient things 1 
are manifested, and, springing from Him, shall all be united 
in Him again. 

How many tortoises and fishes and how many eaters of 
them ! how many excellent young animals become strong- 
winged and fly ! 

How many birds of prey in the firmament eat the excellent 
birds ! and how many animals eat and digest the birds of 
prey when they see them ! 

What mattereth it whether things live in water or land, 
or fly in the firmament ? God made them and will destroy 
them all. 

As light blendeth with darkness and darkness with light, 
so all things have sprung from God and shall be united in 

How many go about howling ! how many die weeping ! 
how many are drowned in the water ! how many are burnt 
in the fire ! 

How many dwell by the Ganges ! how many in Madina 
and Makka ! how many wander as anchorets ! 

How many undergo the pain of being cut by the saw ! 
how many of burying themselves in the earth ! how many 
of being impaled. 

1 Abhulbhict, also translated — incorporeal and corporeal beings. 


How many fly in the firmament ! how many dwell in 
water ! but they shall all be burnt in the fire 1 for want of 
divine knowledge. 

The demigods have grown weary searching for God ; the 
archdemons have grown weary striving with Him ; the 
wise have grown weary exercising their wisdom ; they who 
repeat His name have grown weary of watching. 

Men have grown weary of grinding and applying sandal 
to themselves ; they have grown weary of applying excellent 
atar of roses ; they have grown weary of worshipping stones 
and offering them pudding. 

They have grown weary of visiting cemeteries and Jogis' 
places of burial, they have grown weary of smearing walls 
and of being marked with the brand of idols? 

The celestial musicians have grown weary of singing ; all 
the Kinnars have grown weary of their penance, but none 
of them hath found God. 

The following is Guru Gobind Singh's conception 
of the divinity : — 

God is without passion, without colour, without form, 
without outline ; 

He is without worldly love, without anger, without enmity, 
without jealousy ; 

He is without karma, without error, without birth, and 
without caste ; 

He hath no friend, no enemy, no father, no mother ; 

He hath no worldly love, no house, no desires, no home ; 

He hath no son, no friend, no enemy, no wife ; 

He is invisible, without distinguishing dress, and unborn ; 

He is ever the Bestower of supernatural power and 
wisdom ; He is of size beyond measure. 

His form and outline cannot be known, 

Nor where He dwelleth, nor in what disguises He 

1 Jak=zakka The gyanis translate obstinacy. 

2 In Dwaraka men are branded with a hot iron bearing the ensigns 
of Vishnu. 


Nor what His name is, nor what He is called. 

How shall I describe Him ? He cannot be described. 

He hath no disease, or sorrow, or worldly love, or mother, 

No karma, no superstition, no birth, no caste ; 

He hath no jealousy, no garb, and is unborn. 

I bow to Him as one ! I bow to Him as one ! 

He is beyond all things, and from the beginning the 
Dispenser of wisdom. 

He is indivisible, indestructible, primal, peerless, and 

He hath no caste, or lineage, or form, or colour. 

I bow to the primal and infrangible One. 

How many millions of worms like Krishan 
He created, built, fashioned, again destroyed, and created ! 
He is unfathomable, fearless, primal, unrivalled, imperish- 

He is beyond all things, from the beginning, and perfect 
is His splendour. 

He feeleth nor mental nor bodily pain : He is unfathom- 

His glory is infrangible ; He is from the beginning, and 
His majesty is indestructible. 

He hath no birth, no death, no caste, no pain. 

He is infrangible, radiant, unamercible, 1 impossible to be 
controlled ; 

He hath no worldly love, no home ; He hath affection for 
men and is His own master. 

He is powerful, cannot be anywhere contained, radiant, 
the Torturer of enemies. 

He cannot be depicted in the past, the present, or the 

He is not rich or poor ; He hath no form or outline. 
He feeleth not covetousness or mental anxiety ; He is 
not formed out of the elements ; He belongeth to no sect. 
He hath no enemy, no friend, no worldly love, no home. 

1 He is not liable to be fined like mortals as a punishment. 


He is eternal and ever contained in all things ; He beareth 
love to all. 

He hath no lust, no wrath, no avarice, no worldly love ; 
He is unborn, indestructible, primal, peerless, in- 
visible ; 

He is not subject to birth or death ; He hath no caste, 
no pain ; 

He hath no sickness, no sorrow ; He is fearless, and with- 
out affliction. 1 

He is impenetrable, indivisible, without karma, and with- 
out death. 

He cannot be destroyed or defamed ; He is bright and 
without a cherisher ; 

He hath no father, no mother, no caste, no body ; 

He hath no worldly love, no home, no doubt, no fear ; 

He hath no form, there is no king over Him, He hath 
no body, no acts attach to Him ; 

He hath no fear ; He cannot be killed or pierced ; He 
hath no doubts. 

He is eternal, ever perfect, and of size beyond measure. 

I bow to Him as one ! I bow to Him as one ! 

His glory is inexpressible ; He is from the beginning, 
He is unassociated, imperishable, imperceptible, and un- 

I bow to Him as one ! I bow to Him as one ! 

He hath no worldly love, no home, no grief, no relation. 
He is afar off, pure, undented, none can behold Him. 
He hath no caste, no lineage, no friend, no minister. 
I bow to the one independent Being ! I bow to the one 
independent Being ! 

He hath no religion, no superstition, no shame, no rela- 

No armour, no shield, no karma, no fear, 

1 Bikhad; in modern Panjabi this word means a quarrel. 


No enemy, no friends, no son. 

I bow to the primal Being ; I bow to the primal Being. 

The bodies of some undergo cold, heat, and rain, 
Some sit in one posture for an age, 
Some make efforts to study the science of Jog. 
Men strive but even then find not God's limits. 
Some with their arms raised wander in different countries ; 
Some scorch themselves between the sun and surrounding 
fires ; 

Some recite the Simritis, the Shastars, the Veds ; 
Some expound amorous poetry, others the books of the 
Muhammadans ; 
Some perform fire sacrifice, some live on air ; 
Some millions eat carrion ; 

Some consume vegetables, some milk, some leaves ; 
But even so God becometh not manifest unto them. 

The following sawaiyas also are sometimes read at 
the administration of the pahul. 


God ever cherisheth the poor, saveth saints, and destroyeth 

Birds, beasts, mountains, snakes, and kings — all he ever 

He cherisheth animals in sea and land ; he considereth 
not their evil acts. 

Compassionate to the poor, an ocean of mercy, He be- 
holdeth man's sins, but wearieth not of giving. 


He destroyeth misery and sin ; He crusheth an army of 
evil men in a moment ; 

He breaketh those unbreakable by human power ; he 
smiteth the very valiant, but cherisheth love for those 
who truly love Him. 

Vishnu, the lord of Lakshmi, cannot find His limit ; the 


Veds and the books of the Musalmans cannot utter His 

The Beneficent One ever beholdeth men's secrets ; yet 
He becometh not angry, and withholdeth not their daily 


He made worms, moths, deer, serpents, the past, the 
future, and the present. 

The demigods and demons were ruined through their 
pride ; they knew not God's secret, and were led astray 
by error. 

The Veds, the Purans, the Quran, and other Muhammadan 
books have grown weary of taking God's account, but they 
have not found it. 

Without the light of true love hath any one obtained the 
honour of finding God ? 


He is primal, endless, unfathomable, without enmity, and 
fearless in the past, future, and present. 

He is without end, One out of many, without blemish, 
sin, or stain, and indestructible. 

He is the Creator and Destroyer of worlds ; He sup- 
porteth life on sea and land. 

Compassionate to the poor, a mine of mercy, beautiful is 
the holy Lord of wealth. 


He hath not lust, or wrath, or covetousness, or worldly 
love, or sickness, or sorrow, or enjoyment, or fear. 

He is without a body ; He beareth love to all, yet is He 
devoid of sensual love ; He is homeless and indestructible. 

To those who know Him He giveth ; to those who know 
Him not He also giveth ; He giveth to the earth ; He 
giveth to the heavens. 1 

O man, why waverest thou ? the beautiful and holy Lord 
of wealth will care for thee. 

1 Zaman is here understood to be for asman. 



He preserveth men in many ways — from sickness, from 
sorrow, from water, and from sprites. 

When enemies aim blows at us, none of them may reach 
our bodies, 

For He holdeth out His hand to protect us and hinder 
the army of sin from approaching us. 

What else need I say to thee, O man ; God protecteth 
thee with the screen of the womb. 


The Yakshas, serpents, demons, demigods, all meditate 
on Thee, the Inscrutable One. 

On earth, in heaven, and in the nether regions of hell \ 
Yakshas, serpents, all bow their heads unto Thee ; 

But they cannot find the limit of Thy glory ; the Veds 
describe Thee as indescribable. 

All the demigods who searched for Thee have grown 
weary of their search ; they have not found Thee, 0 God. 


Beings like Narad, Brahma, Rumna 2 the Rikhi all com- 
bine to sing Thy praises. 

The Veds and the books of the Musalmans have not 
found Thy secret ; all have grown weary in their search : 
God hath not been found by any one. 

Shiv, the lord of Uma, 3 cannot find Thy limit. The Sidhs 
with their spiritual leaders and the sons of Brahma meditate 
on Thee. 

0 men, meditate in your hearts on Him whose immeasur- 
able power is diffused throughout the whole world. 


The Veds, the Purans, the Quran, and other Musalman 

1 There are said to be seven hells. Fatal is the seventh and lowest. 

2 Also known as Lomash, who was remarkable for his long life. 

3 One of the names of Parbati. 


books, have not found His secret ; all kings 1 have grown 
sore weary searching for it. 

They could not find the secret of the Inscrutable ; after 
great travail they proclaimed Him invulnerable. 

Thou, O Lord, hast no passion, no form, no outline, no 
colour, no relation, no sorrow, no companion. 

Thou wast in the beginning and yet hadst no beginning ; 
Thou art unfathomable, without distinguishing dress, 2 and 
without jealousy : he who repeateth Thy name shall save 
his relations. 


Men have performed millions of ablutions at places of 
pilgrimage ; they have made many offerings and endured 
great fasts. 

Putting on the dress of great penitents and wearing long 
hair, they have wandered in many countries, but they have 
not found the Beloved God. 

They have made millions of attitudes of contemplation 
and prostrations, many offerings of their limbs to tutelary 
divinities, 3 and blackened their faces ; 

But without meditating on the name of the Compassionate 
to the poor, the Deathless, they have at last gone to Death's 

Thou art the Discharger of arms, the Holder of the earth 
and the umbrella, the Betrayer of kings, the great Tor- 
mentor of enemies ; 

The Bestower of gifts, the great Enhancer of honour, the 
Giver of a resting-place, the Cutter of Death's noose ; 

Conqueror in the fight, Remover of obstacles, great Be- 
stower of wisdom, Thou art honoured even among the most 

Thou art learned in divine knowledge ; Thou art the great 
Giver of wisdom, the Destroyer of the god of death. 

1 Such as Harischandar, and others. 

2 Without the distinguishing dress of a religious sect. 

3 Baku nias /tare, also translated — (a) made many renunciations, 
(6) made many efforts. 


The dwellers of the East know not Thy limit, the goddess 
Hingula 1 who dwelleth in the Himalayas meditateth on 
Thee ; the Gurdezis of Ghor 2 sing the praises of Thy name. 

The Jogis practise Jog to be united with Thee ; how 
many suspend their breath to obtain Thee. The Arabs of 
Arabia worship Thy name. 

The Firangis of France worship Thee, the Kandharis and 
Qureshis know Thee, the residents of the West recognize 
Thee as the object of their love. 

The Marathas, the Magadhis 3 heartily do Thee penance, 
the natives of Tilang 4 fix Thee in their hearts, and recognize 
Thee as the abode of religion. 

Like milk in Chirawadh, like buttermilk in Chhatraner, 
like moonlight on the banks of the Jamna, 

Like a female swan in Turkey of the Shiahs, like a diamond 
in Husainabad, like the stream of the Ganges when it 
blendeth with the seven seas, 

Like quicksilver in Palaugarh, like silver in Rampur, like 
saltpetre in Surangabad, 

Like the champa flower in Chanderikot, like moonlight 
in Chandagarh, Thy praise flourisheth like the malati flower. 5 

Like crystal in Kailas, Kamaungarh, and Kashipur, like 
a mirror in Surangabad, 

Like snow in the Himalayas, like Shiv's necklace 6 in 
Halbaner, like a swan in Hajipur on seeing which the heart 
is fascinated ; 

Like white sandal in Champawati, liks the moon in Chan- 
dragir, like moonlight in Chandagarh, 

Like the Ganges on Shiv's head, like cranes in Bulanda- 
bad shineth the light of Thy praises. 

1 Hingula is another of the names of Parbati or Durga. 

2 A mountainous tract of Afghanistan south-east of Harat. 

3 Natives of the country of Magadha, now South Bihar. 

4 The Telegu country on the east coast of India between Urisa 
(Orissa) and Madras. 

5 A kind of jasmin with fragrant white blossoms. 

6 Har har. Shiv was believed to wear a white snake as a necklace. 


The Persians, the English, the double-faced men of France, 
the mirdang 1 — players of Makran sing Thy praises. 

The inhabitants of Bhakhar, of Kandhar, and of Ghor, 
the Gakhars, the Gurdezis, and those who live on air medi- 
tate on Thy name. 

In the east in Palau, in Kamrup, and Kamaun, wherever 
man goeth there Thou presidest. 

Thy glory is perfect ; written and spoken incantations 
cannot affect Thee, O Lord, and none can find the limit of 
Thy praises. 

God is peerless, imperishable ; His throne is immovable ; 
He is peerless, endless ; His praise is unrivalled ; 
He is indestructible and the invisible Lord. 
He is everywhere king ; He blossometh in the forests and 
the glades. 

His splendour is like the spring everywhere diffused. 

The Great One pervadeth the woods and glades, birds 
and quadrupeds. 

He everywhere blossometh, He is beautiful and wise ; 

He blossometh like flowers, and glittereth like the peacock. 

Cupid on recognizing Him waveth a chauri over Him. 

His power is perfect, He is the Bestower of food, the 

The Treasury of favour, the Perfect, the Bounteous. 
Wherever we look there appeareth His splendour. 
He is free from anger and a treasury of favour. 
He everywhere blossometh ; He is beautiful and wise. 
He is the great king of the woods and glades, of sea and 

His splendour appeareth everywhere ; He is the treasury 
of favour. 

His light dazzleth, His glory is perfect. 
The sky and the earth repeat His name. 
Over the seven heavens and the seven hells 
His net of karma is spread unseen. 

1 A small drum or tambourine. 



Guru Gobind Singh addresses God as a sword to 
destroy his enemies. 

I bow with love and devotion to the Holy Sword. 
Assist me that I may complete this work. 

Thou art the Subduer of countries, the Destroyer of the 
armies of the wicked, in the battle-field Thou greatly adornest 
the brave. 

Thine arm is infrangible, Thy brightness refulgent, Thy 
radiance and splendour dazzle like the sun. 

Thou bestowest happiness on the good, Thou terrifiest the 
evil, Thou scatterest sinners, I seek Thy protection. 

Hail ! hail to the Creator of the world, the Saviour of 
creation, my Cherisher, hail to Thee, O Sword ! 

I bow to Him who holdeth the arrow in His hand ; I 
bow to the Fearless One ; 

I bow to the God of gods who is in the present and the 

I bow to the Scimitar, the two-edged Sword, the Fal- 
chion, and the Dagger. 

Thou, O God, hast ever one form ; Thou art ever un- 

I bow to the Holder of the mace 

Who diffused light through the fourteen worlds. 

I bow to the Arrow and the Musket, 

I bow to the Sword, spotless, fearless, and unbreakable ; 

I bow to the powerful Mace and Lance 

To which nothing is equal. 

I bow to Him who holdeth the discus, 

Who is not made of the elements and who is terrible. 

I bow to Him with the strong teeth ; 

I bow to Him who is supremely powerful, 

I bow to the Arrow and the Cannon 


Which destroy the enemy. 

I bow to the Sword and the Rapier 

Which destroy the evil. 

I bow to all weapons called Shastar (which may be held) . 
I bow to all weapons called Astar (which may be hurled 
or discharged). 

Thou turnest men like me from blades of grass into 
mountains ; than Thou there is none other cherisher of the 

O God, do Thou Thyself pardon mine errors ; there is 
none who hath erred like me. 

The houses of those who have served Thee are all seen 
filled with wealth. 

In this Kal age and at all times there is great confidence 
in the powerful arm of the Sword, 

Which in one moment destroyed millions of demons like 
Sumbh and Nisumbh ; 1 

Which in an instant subdued demons such as Dhumar- 
lochan, Chand, Mund, and Mahikh ; 

Which in a trice repelled demons such as Chamar Ran- 
chichhar and Raktichhan — 

What careth Thy slave since he- hath found a good Lord 
like Thee ? 

Which crushed millions like Mund, Madhu, Kitabh, Mur, 
and Agh ; 

They who never sought shelter in the battle-field and 
who retreated not even two paces when blows were dealt 
around them, 

The demons who could not be drowned in the sea, and 
who could not be burnt by fiery arrows, 

On beholding thy flash, O Sword, cast aside shame and 

1 See that part of the Mdrkandeya Puran which treats of the exploits 
of Chandi. The names of the demons mentioned in these quatrains 
will be found there. 


Thou in a moment didst destroy such heroes as Rawan, 
Maharawan x , Kumbhkaran 2 , 

Meghnad, and Akampan 3 , in waging war with whom even 
Death grew wearied — 

Kumbh, Akumbh, who having conquered the whole world 
washed their arms in the seven seas. 4 

They who were invulnerable and huge were all wounded 
and killed by the sword in the hand of God. 

If any one flee to save himself from the Destroyer, say 
in what direction shall he flee. 

Can man run away from God who stoppeth him with 
a drawn sword thundering and brandishing it ? 

No contrivance hath been made by which man may escape 
from the wound God inflicteth. 

Why, O fool, seekest thou not cheerfully the asylum of 
Him from whom thou canst not escape ? 

Thou hast millions of times repeated the names of Krishan 
and Vishnu, and fully meditated on Ram Chandar and the 
Prophet ; 

Thou hast repeated Brahma's name and established Shiv 
in thy heart, but none of them will save thee. 

Thou hast performed millions of penances for millions of 
days, but none of them will avail thee a kauri. 

Incantations to obtain thy desires will not be worth thee 
half a paisa ; none of them will save thee from the stroke 
of Death. 

Why performest thou false penance to the gods ? it will 
not avail thee a kauri. 

How can they save thee when they cannot protect them- 
selves from the stroke of Death ? 

They will suspend thee in the fiery pit of terrible wrath 
as they are suspended themselves. 

1 A first cousin of Rawan. 2 Rawan's brother. 

3 Rawan's sons. 

4 They never again expected to find an adversary. 


Think, think even to-day in thy heart, O fool, without 
the favour of God nothing can avail thee. 

It is not by the practice of perpetual silence, nor by the 
ostensible relinquishment of pride, nor by the adoption of 
a religious dress, nor by shaving the head, 

Nor by wearing a wooden necklace, nor by twisting matted 
hair round the head that God is found. 

I speak the truth, hear it attentively — without entering 
the protection of the Compassionate to the poor 

And loving Him can God be found ? the Merciful One 
is not pleased with circumcision. 

Were I to make all the islands my paper, and the seven 
seas my ink ; 

Were I to cut down all trees, and turn them into pens 
for writing ; 

Were I to make Saraswati dictate for millions of ages ; 
were I to write with the hand of Ganesh, 

O Thou who holdest the destroying sword, I could not 
please Thee even a little without offering Thee homage. 


Thy greatness is endless and boundless ; 

No one hath found its limits. 

Thou art God of gods, King of kings, 

Compassionate to poor, and Cherisher of the lowly. 

The dumb would recite the six Shastars, cripples would 
climb mountains, 

The blind would see, and the deaf hear, if God would 
only show favour. 

How can my feeble intellect, O God, 
Describe Thy greatness ? 
I cannot utter Thy praises, 
Do Thou correct this work : 




How far can this worm speak ? 

It is only Thou, O God, who knowest Thine own praises. 
As a son knoweth not the time of his father's birth, 
How can I tell Thy secret ? 
Thy greatness becometh Thee ; 
It cannot be described by others. 
Thou knowest Thine own works, O God. 
How shall high or low describe Thee ? 
Sheshnag whom Thou didst create with a thousand heads, 
Whom two thousand tongues 1 adorn, 
Until now is uttering Thy boundless names ; 
Yet even still he cannot find their limit. 
How far can any one describe Thy works ? 
The intellect is perplexed in trying to understand them. 
Thy subtile form cannot be described ; 
I shall describe Thy great form. 
When I have obtained Thy love and service, 
Then shall I put aside all other narratives and describe 

I shall now relate my own history, 
And how the Sodhi family originated. 

At first when God extended Himself, 
The world was created by Him. 
The man who doeth good deeds 
Is called a demigod in the world ; 
He who doeth bad deeds in the world 
Is styled a demon. 

Kalsain was the first king ; 

His strength and form were unsurpassed, incomparable, 
and unrivalled. 

Kalket was the second king ; 

Krurbaras was appointed the third king in the world ; 
Kaldhuj was the fourth king who graced sovereignty. 
In this line Raghu was born, 
From whom the Raghu race was descended. 

1 It is wiitten in Hindu books that Sheshnag has two tongues in 
each head. 


From them an excellent son Aj was born, 

A great charioteer and archer. 

When he assumed the garb of a Jogi, 

He bestowed his empire and throne on Dasarath, 

Who also became a great archer. 

He felt desire and married three wives. 

His first son was the prince Ram, 

The second Bharat, the third Lachhman, and the fourth 

They ruled for a long time ; 

They then died and went to heaven. 

Sita's sons, Lahu 1 and Kushu, afterwards both became 

And graced kingdoms and thrones. 

On their marriage with the daughters of the king of the 

They performed various sacrifices. 
They built there two cities, 
One Kasur, the second Lahaur (Lahore). 
Both became very famous. 

Ceylon and Amrawati, the city of Indar, became ashamed 
on beholding them. 

Kushu and Lahu reigned for a long time, 

But were at length caught in the noose of Death. 

Their sons and grandsons 

Also ruled in this world. 

How far shall I tell their history ? 

I cannot even recount their names. 

It is related that Kalket 2 and Kalrai 3 
Had innumerable sons in their homes. 
Kalket possessed peerless strength, 
And expelled Kalrai from the city. 
He fled to the Sanaudh 4 country 
Where he married a king's daughter. 

1 Lav in the Rdmayan. 

2 Descended from Kushu. 3 Descended from Lahu. 

4 Near Banaras. Its inhabitants, the Sanaudhis, were afterwards 
called Sodhis. 

U 2 


The son born in his house of that marriage 
He named Sodhi Rai. 
The Sodhi race began from that time. 
It was made by the supremely pure Creator. 
The sons and grandsons who sprang from Sodhi Rai 
Were all called Sodhis in this world. 
They became very distinguished among men, 
And their wealth increased day by day. 
They exercised independent sway 
And conquered the kings of many countries. 
They enforced religion everywhere, 
Caused umbrellas to wave over their heads, 
And on many occasions performed sacrifices at royal 

Afterwards dissension arose among them, 

And no holy man could arrest its progress. 

Heroes and invincible warriors went about caparisoned, 

Took arms and went to fight in the field of battle. 

For wealth and land ancient is the struggle, 1 

To compass which men willingly die. 

Worldly love and pride have extended quarrels ; 

Lust and wrath have conquered the whole world. 

Nobody can compute the time 

When enmity, dissension, and pride were diffused. 

In this world their basis is greed, 

By the desire for which every one killeth himself. 


The Sodhis returned to the Pan jab and waged war with 
the descendants of Kushu who had been left behind. The 
descendants of Kushu being defeated fled to Banaras, where 
they became readers of the Veds. 


Those of the expelled descendants of Kushu who read the 
Veds were called Bedis. 

1 Compare the Hindustani proverb — zan, zamin, zar, tinen jhagre ha 
ghar ' Women, land, and money are the sources of strife among men.' 


They carefully attended to their religious duties. 
The king of the Pan jab dispatched them a conciliatory 

To forget the enmity that prevailed among them. 
The raja's messenger arrived in Banaras, 
And explained the contents of the missive to all the 

Upon this all the readers of the Veds proceeded to the 

And on their arrival made obeisance to the king. 
He caused them to recite the Veds. 
While all his brethren were seated near him in the assembly, 
They recited the Sam Ved, the Yajur Ved, 
Then the Rig Ved, making gesticulations with their 

And finally the Atharav Ved. 

The raja was pleased 

And gave them all his possessions. 

He elected to live in the forest 

To remove his great sins. 

On giving them his kingdom 

He assumed the garb of a Rikhi. 

The people tried to restrain him, 

But he dismissed all regret, 

And, relinquishing wealth and place, 

Became absorbed in God's love. 

The Bedi chief was pleased on obtaining the kingdom, 
And in the joy of his heart blessed the Sodhi king, saying, 
' When I come in the Kal age under the name of Nanak, 
I will make thee worthy of worship in the world, and 
thou shalt attain the highest dignity. 

Thou hast heard the three Veds from us, 

On hearing the fourth Ved thou gavest thy territory. 

Having assumed three births \ 

1 When I have become Guru Nanak, Guru Angad, and Guru Amar 


In my fourth I will make thee Guru.' 1 

On the one hand the Sodhi king went to the forest, 

On the other the Bedi king was happy in his sovereignty. 

How far shall I amplify this story ? 

I very much fear to swell my book. 


Afterwards again quarrels increased among the Bedis, 
Which no one could adjust. 
It was the will of God 

That sovereignty should pass from their family. 

Only twenty villages remained to the Bedis, 

Which they began to till. 

A long time passed in that way 

Until the epoch for the birth of Nanak arrived. 

Nanak Rai, born in the line of those Bedis, 
Conferred happiness on all his disciples, and assisted them 
in this world and the next. 

He established religion in the Kal age, 
And showed the way unto all holy men. 
Sin never troubleth those 
Who follow in his footsteps. 
God removeth all suffering and sin 
From those who embrace his religion : 
Pain and hunger never annoy them, 
And they never fall into Death's noose. 
Nanak assumed the body of Angad, 
And made his religion current in the world. 
Afterwards Nanak was called Amar Das, 
As one lamp is lit from another. 

When the time for the fulfilment of the blessing came, 
Then Ram Das Sodhi became Guru. 
Amar Das gave him the Guruship according to the ancient 

1 The reference is to Guru Ram Das. 


And took the road to paradise himself. 
The holy Nanak was revered as Angad, 
Angad was recognized as Amar Das, 
And Amar Das became Ram Das. 
The pious saw this, but not the fools, 
Who thought them all distinct ; 

But some rare person recognized that they were all one. 

They who understood this obtained perfection — 

Without understanding perfection cannot be obtained. 

When Ram Das was blended with God, 

He gave the Guruship to Arjan. 

When Arjan was going to God's city 

He appointed Har Gobind in his place. 

When Har Gobind was going to God's city, 

He seated Har Rai in his place. 

Har Krishan his son afterwards became Guru. 

After him came Teg Bahadur, 

Who protected the frontal marks and sacrificial threads 
of the Hindus, 
And displayed great bravery in the Kal age. 
When he put an end to his life for the sake of holy men, 
He gave his head but uttered not a groan. 
He suffered martyrdom for the sake of his religion ; 
He gave his head but swerved not from his determination. 1 
God's people would be ashamed 
To perform the tricks of mountebanks and cheats. 2 

Having broken his potsherd on the head 3 of the King of 
Dihli, he departed to paradise. 

None came into the world who performed such deeds as he. 

1 Sirar. If this is a Panjabi word, its meaning is as we have given. 
Among the Sikhs, however, there is current what purports to be the 
Persian original of the line, as spoken by Guru Teg Bahadur himself 
on the eve of his execution — 

which is generally translated — I gave my head but not God's secret. 

2 That is, Guru Teg Bahadur might have performed a miracle and 
saved himself, but he scorned to do so. 

3 Having made the King of Dihli responsible for his death. 


At his departure there was mourning in this world ; 
There was grief through the world, but joy in paradise. 


Guru Gobind Singh now speaks regarding himself: — 
I shall now tell my own history, 

How God brought me into the world as I was performing 

On the mountain of Hem Kunt, 1 

Where the seven peaks are conspicuous — 

The place is called the Sapt Shring 2 — 

Where King Pandu practised Jog. 

There I performed very great austerities 

And worshipped Great-death. 

I performed such penance 

That I became blended with God. 

My father and mother had also worshipped the Unseen 

And strove in many ways to unite themselves with Him. 

The Supreme Guru was pleased 

With their devotion to Him. 

When God gave me the order 

I assumed birth in this Kal age. 

I did not desire to come, 

As my attention was fixed on God's feet. 

God remonstrated earnestly with me, 

And sent me into this world with the following orders : — 

4 When I created this world 

I first made the demons, who became enemies and op- 

They became intoxicated with the strength of their arms, 
And ceased to worship Me, the Supreme Being. 
I became angry and at once destroyed them. 
In their places I established the gods : 

1 In Sanskrit Hemakuta, the golden peak, a chain of mountains 
between the Himalayas and Mount Meru. 

2 Meaning seven horns. 


They also busied themselves with receiving sacrifices and 

And called themselves supreme beings. 
Mahadev called himself the imperishable God. 
Vishnu too declared himself to be God ; 
Brahma called himself the supreme Brahm, 
And nobody thought Me to be God. 
Then I made the eight Sakhis 1 
Who were appointed to keep watch over creatures. 
They told people to worship them, 
And said, " There is no God but us." 
They who did not recognize the Primal Essence, 
Worshipped them as God. 
How many worshipped the sun and moon ! 
How many made burnt offerings ! how many worshipped 
the wind ! 

Some recognized a stone as God. 

How many bathed in the water according to Shastrik rites! 

How many, recognizing Dharmraj as their supreme judge, 

Performed religious ceremonies through fear ! 

They whom I appointed to watch over creatures, 

On coming into this world called themselves God. 

They altogether forgot My orders, 

And became absorbed each in his own praise. 

When they did not recognize Me, 

Then I created men. 

They too fell under the influence of pride, 

And made gods out of stones. 

Then I created the Sidhs and the Sadhs, 

But they too found not the Supreme Being. 

Whoever was clever in the world 

Established his own sect, 

And no one found the Creator. 

Enmity, contention, and pride increased. 

Men began to burn trunk and leaves in their own fire, 2 

1 These are believed to be the Dikpals or regents of the eight points 
of the compass. 

2 An Indian idiom for anarchy. Big and little perished by their 
own contentions. 


And none of them went My way. 

They who obtained a little spiritual power 

Struck out their own way. 

None of them recognized the Supreme Being, 

But became mad boasting of themselves. 

None of them recognized the Real Essence, 

But each became absorbed in himself. 

Then I created the supreme Rikhis 

Who afterwards made their own Simritis current. 

They who were smitten by the Simritis 

Abandoned My worship. 

They who attached their hearts to My feet 

Did not walk in the way of the Simritis. 1 

Brahma made the four Veds 

And caused all to act according to them ; 

But they whose love was attached to My feet 

Renounced the Veds. 

They who abandoned the tenets of the Veds and of other 
religious books, 

Became devoted to Me, the supreme God. 

They who follow true religion 

Shall have their sins of various kinds blotted out. 

They who endure bodily suffering 

And cease not to love Me, 

Shall all to go paradise, 

And there shall be no difference between Me and them. 
They who shrink from suffering, 

And, forsaking Me, adopt the way of the Veds and Simritis 
Shall fall into the pit of hell, 
And continually suffer transmigration. 
Afterwards I created Dattatre 
Who also struck out his own path. 
He pared not his finger nails, he decorated his head with 
matted hair, 2 

And paid no heed to My worship. 
Then I created Gorakh 

1 The Simritis purport to follow the Veds. 

8 The milk of the leaves of the banyan-tree is used by faqirs to wet 
the hair. It is then smeared with ashes. 


Who made great kings his disciples, 

And tearing their ears put rings in them : 

But he thought not of the way of My love. 

Then I created Ramanand 

Who wore the garb of a Bairagi, 

Put a wooden necklace on his neck, 

And paid no heed to My worship. 1 

They who were created by Me 

Struck out their several paths. 

I then created Muhammad, 

And made him king of Arabia. 

He too established a religion of his own, 

Cut off the foreskins of all his followers, 

And made every one repeat his name ; 2 

But no one fixed the true Name in man's heart. 

All these were wrapped up in themselves, 

And none of them recognized Me, the Supreme Being. 

I have cherished thee as My son, 

And created thee to extend My religion. 

Go and spread My religion there, 

And restrain the world from senseless acts.' 

I stood up, clasped my hands, bowed my head, and 
replied : — 

' Thy religion shall prevail in the world when Thou vouch- 
safest assistance.' 

On this account God sent me. 

Then I took birth and came into the world. 

As He spoke to me so I speak unto men : 

I bear no enmity to any one. 

All who call me the Supreme Being 

Shall fall into the pit of hell. 

Recognize me as God's servant only : 

1 This is not the Ramanand whose hymn is found in the Granth 
Sahib. The author of that hymn lived long after this, and subsequent 
to the era of Muhammad. He was the Guru of Kabir who flourished 
in the fifteenth century a.d. 

2 Muhammad, rasul Alia. 


Have no doubt whatever of this. 

I am the slave of the Supreme Being, 

And have come to behold the wonders of the world. 

I tell the world what God told me, 

And will not remain silent through fear of mortals. 

As God spoke to me I speak, 

I pay no regard to any one besides. 

I am satisfied with no religious garb ; 

I sow the seed of the Invisible. 

I am not a worshipper of stones, 

Nor am I satisfied with any religious garb. 

I will sing the Name of the Infinite, 

And obtain the Supreme Being. 

I will not wear matted hair on my head, 

Nor will I put on earrings ; 

I will pay no regard to any one but God. 

What God told me I will do. 

I will repeat the one Name 

Which will be everywhere profitable. 

I will not repeat any other name, 

Nor establish any other God in my heart. 

I will meditate on the name of the Endless One, 

And obtain the supreme light. 

I am imbued with Thy name, O God ; 

I am not intoxicated with any other honour. 

I will meditate on the Supreme, 

And thus remove endless sins. 

I am enamoured of Thy form ; 

No other gift hath charms for me. 

I will repeat Thy name, 

And avoid endless sorrow. 

Sorrow and sin have not approached those 

Who have meditated on Thy name. 

They who meditate on any one else 

Shall die of arguments and contentions. 

The divine Guru sent me for religion's sake : 

On this account I have come into the world — 

' Extend the faith everywhere ; 


Seize and destroy the evil and the sinful.' 

Understand this, ye holy men, in your souls. 

I assumed birth for the purpose 

Of spreading the faith, saving the saints, 

And extirpating all tyrants. 

All the first incarnations 

Caused men to repeat their names. 

They killed no one who had offended against God, 

And they struck out no path of real religion. 

The Ghauses 1 and Prophets who existed 

Left the world talking of themselves. 

None of them recognized the great Being 

Or knew anything of real religion. 

Nothing is to be obtained by putting hopes in others ; 

Put the hopes of your hearts in the One God alone. 

Nothing is obtained by hoping in others ; 

Put the hopes of your hearts in Him. 

Some millions read the Purans together ; 

How many silly persons recite the Quran ! 

But these books shall be of no assistance at last, 

And shall save no one from Death's toils. 

Why not, O brethren, repeat the name of Him 

Who will aid you at the last moment ? 

Consider spurious religion as superstition. 

No such things will avail you. 

On this account God created me ; 

Having communicated to me the secret, 2 

He sent me into the world. 

I shall proclaim to all men what He told me. 

I will repeat God's name, 
And all my affairs shall prosper. 
I will not close mine eyes, 3 
Or do anything for show. 

1 Muhammadan saints of excessive devotion. 

2 That spurious religion is of no avail. 

3 As some Indian faqirs do. 


They who wear a religious garb 

Are deemed naught by the saints of God. 

Understand this, all men, in your hearts, 

That God is not obtained by hypocrisy. 

They who act for the sake of display, 

Shall not obtain salvation in the next world ; 

And it is only for life their affairs prosper. 

Kings on seeing their acting worship them ; 

But God is not to be found by mummery. 

Yet every one wandereth about thus searching for Him. 1 

He who keepeth his heart in subjection 

Recognizeth the Supreme Being. 

They who by wearing a religious garb keep the people 
of the world in subjection, 

Shall at last be cut with the shears of Death and take 
up their abode in hell. 

They who present appearances to the world, 
Experience extreme pleasure in fleecing 2 others. 
Spurious, and not worth a kauri, is the religion 
Of those who practise suspension of breath by stopping 
their noses. 

They who practise spurious religion in the world 
Shall fall into the pit of hell. 
He who can in no way subdue his heart 
Shall not go to heaven by gesticulation. 

What God Himself told me I proclaim to the world. 
They who meditate on Him shall go to heaven at last. 

God and God's servant are both one — deem not that 
there is any difference between them — 

As waves produced from water are again blended with it. 

1 Also translated— Since God is not to be found by mummery, why 
should everybody wander about thus searching for Him ? 

2 Also translated — In shaving the heads of others and Ihen making 
them their disciples. 


God remaineth apart from those 
Who indulge in wrangling and pride. 
He is not found in the Veds or the books of the Muham- 

Know this in your hearts, O saints of God. 

They who practise hypocrisy by closing their eyes 

Should be treated as blind men. 

Since the road is not seen by closing one's eyes, 

How can such persons, my brethren, meet the Infinite ? 1 

How far could any one amplify this ? 

Men would grow weary trying to understand it. 

Though one had a million tongues, 

Even then he would fail to recount God's praises. 


My father departed for the East 

And bathed at various places of pilgrimage. 

When he arrived at the Tribeni (Priyag), 

He passed his days in meritorious works and alms. 

There was I conceived. 

I was born in Patna city, 

And afterwards taken to the Panjab, 

Where nurses of different kinds fondled me, 

And tended my body in every way. 

I received instruction in various forms. 

When I arrived at the age to perform my religious duties, 

My father departed to God's city. 


When I obtained sovereignty, 

I promoted religion to the best of my power. 

I hunted various sorts of game in the forest, 

And killed bears, nilgaus, 2 and elks. 

I afterwards left that country, 

And proceeded to the city of Paunta. 

1 Who cannot be seen at all. 

2 The Indian antelope. 


I enjoyed myself on the bank of the Kalindri (Jamna), 

And saw amusements of every kind. 

There I selected and killed many lions, 

And slew many nilgaus and bears. 

Fatah Shah who was the king became angry with me, 

And came to blows with me without cause. 

Here follow in the Vichitar Natak an account of 
the battle of Bhangani ; the dispatch of Mian Khan 
and Alif Khan to Jammu and Nadaun respectively to 
collect revenue ; the victory gained with the Guru's 
assistance by Raja Bhim Chand over Alif Khan ; 
the dispatch of General Dilawar Khan against the 
hill chiefs and of his son against the Guru, who 
was left unmolested owing to the son's flight ; 
the dispatch by Dilawar Khan of Husain Khan to 
reduce the Guru to subjection ; the failure of Husain 
Khan to carry out his orders ; his attack on the 
weaker of the hill chiefs ; the victory of Gopal, King 
of Guler, and of Ram Singh, King of Jaswan, over 
Himmat, one of Husain Khan's officers, whom they 
put to death • the single-handed combat between 
Raja Ram Singh and Jujhar Singh, Raja of Chander, 
in which the latter was slain ; the dispatch by 
Aurangzeb of his son to the Pan jab, where the 
masands, fearing that he would attack the Guru, 
deserted him and fled to the highest mountains ; 
the dispatch of an officer named Mirza Beg to support 
the young prince and the subsequent expedition of 
an army under four other officers who, believing that 
the masands were men of wealth, destroyed their 
houses and plundered their property. AH these 
details have been given at length in the Guru's life. 


They who turn away from the Guru 
Shall have their houses demolished in this world and the 

They shall be laughed at here, have no dwelling hereafter. 


And be debarred from all hope. 
Sorrow and hunger shall ever attach to those 
Who forsake the service of the Saint. 
Nothing that they do shall succeed in this world, 
And at last they shall fall into the pit of hell. 
They who turn and fly from the Guru's feet, 
Shall have their faces blackened in this world and the 

The successors of both Baba Nanak and Babar 

Were created by God Himself. 

Recognize the former as a spiritual, 

And the latter as a temporal king. 

Babar's successors shall seize and plunder those 

Who deliver not the Guru's money. 

They who love the Guru's feet 
Shall never see misery. 

Wealth and supernatural power shall enter their houses, 
And sin and suffering not touch even their shadows. 

What is a wretched enemy 1 to him whom the Friend 
preserveth ? 

An enemy could not even touch his shadow ; the fool 
would lose his labour. 

Who can meditate anything against those who enter the 
Saint's protection ? 

God preserveth them as the tongue is preserved among 
the teeth ; He destroyeth their enemies and allayeth their 

What can a miserable enemy do to him whom the Friend 
preserveth ? 

He cannot even touch his shadow ; the fool shall pass 

1 Or — What are the designs of an enemy against him ? 




All-death saveth all His saints ; 

He hath tortured and destroyed all sinners ; 

He hath shown wonderful things to His saints, 

And saved them from all misery. 

Knowing me to be His slave He hath aided me ; 

He hath given me His hand and saved me. 

Gyan Prabodh 

Neither the Veds, nor Brahma knoweth God's secret, 

Neither Vyas nor his father Parasar, nor his son Shukdev, 
nor the sons of Brahma, nor Shiv knoweth God's limit. 

All four sons of Brahma know not God's time. 

Lakhs of Lakshmis, lakhs of Vishnus, and many Krishans 
declare Him indescribable. 

Thou art incomprehensible, O God, and fearless ; Thou 
art most powerful, the Creator of sea and land. 

Thou art the unshaken, endless, unequalled, immeasurable 
Lord ; Pure One, I seek Thy protection. 

Here follow in the tenth Guru's Granth transla- 
tions and abridgements of tales from the Purans 
on the twenty-four Hindu incarnations. The follow- 
ing is the Guru's introduction to them : — 

0 God, Thou art the Creator and the Destroyer ; 
Thou killest and puttest the blame on the heads of others. 1 
Thou dwellest apart and none can find Thee ; 
Wherefore Thou art called the Endless One. 

They who are called the twenty-four incarnations 

Have not found even a trace of Thee, O God. 

On seeing Thy saints distressed Thou becomest uneasy ; 

1 Compare the Panjabi proverb : — 

Lain aia ap; 
Nam dharaia tap. 
Death cometh to take one, 
But he is called by the name of fever. 
The meaning of the verse in the text is, that all acts ultimately proceed 
from God, though they appear to be done by His human instruments. 


Wherefore Thou art styled the kinsman of the poor. 
At last Thou shalt destroy the whole world ; 
Wherefore the world calleth Thee Death. 
Thou aidest all the saints as occasion requireth ; 
Wherefore they call Thee their helper. 
On beholding the poor, Thou art compassionate to 
them ; 

So we deem Thee the Friend of the poor. 
Since Thou sheddest the juice of favour on the saints, 
The world calleth Thee the Ocean of favour. 
Thou ever removest the troubles of the saints ; 
Wherefore Thou hast obtained the name of the Remover 
of trouble. 

Thou hast come to dispel the sorrows of the saints ; 
Wherefore, O God, Thou art called the Dispeller of sorrows. 
Thou remainest endless ; Thy end cannot be found ; 
Wherefore Thou hast obtained the name of the Endless 

Thou didst appoint the forms of all things in the world ; 
Wherefore Thou art called the Creator. 
No one hath ever seen Thee anywhere ; 
Wherefore Thou art called the Unseen. 
Thou wert never born in the world ; 1 
Wherefore every one describeth Thee as Unborn. 
Brahma and the rest all grow weary of searching for Thine 

Vishnu and Shiv — what are the wretched beings ? 
After consideration and deliberation God made the moon 
and sun ; 

Wherefore He is known as the Creator. 

Ever without a garb He remaineth without a garb ; 

Wherefore the world calleth Him the Garbless. 

Invisible is His form, no one knoweth Him ; 

On this account he is called the Unseen. 

His form is incomparable and unequalled ; 

He hath no concern with garbs or no garbs. 

He bestoweth on all but beggeth from none 

Wherefore He is recognized as the Provider. 

1 This is an explanation of the word ajoni in the Japji. 
X 2 


He is not concerned with celestial appearances or omens ; 

This fact is known to the whole world. 

He is not appeased by incantations, written or spoken, 
or by charms. 

No one hath found Him by adopting a garb. 

Men are entangled with their own affairs ; 

No one knoweth the Supreme God. 

Some (Hindus) go to places of cremation ; others (Musal- 
mans) to cemeteries ; 

But God is at neither. 

They who visit either are ruined by worldly love and 

And the Lord remaineth separate from them. 
What is a Hindu or a Musalman to him 
From whose heart doubt departeth ? 
The Muhammadans use tasbis, 1 the Hindus malas ; 1 
The former read the Quran and the latter the Purans. 
Fools have died over the discussion ; 
They were not imbued with God's deep love. 
They who are imbued with love for the one God, 
Disregard human opinion and are happy. 
They who recognize the Primal Being as the one God, 
Allow no other belief to enter their hearts. 
They who cherish any other belief, 
Shall be debarred from meeting the Friend. 
He who knoweth the one Supreme Being even a little, 
Knoweth the Real Thing. 
All the Jogis and Sanyasis, 
The multitudes of Shaven-heads and Musalmans, 
Have plundered the world by their garbs. 
The holy men whose support is God's name remain un- 

The unholy practise hypocrisy for the sake of their bellies 
Without hypocrisy they can obtain naught. 
The men who meditate on the one Being 
Never practise hypocrisy on any one. 
Without hypocrisy they would obtain nothing, 
For no one would bow before any of them. 
1 Muhammadan and Hindu names of rosaries. 


If no one had a belly, 

Who would describe any one as rich or poor ? 
They who have concluded that God is one 
Never practise hypocrisy on any one. 
They give their heads, but abandon not their determina- 
tion : 1 

They regard their bodies as nothing. 
Men who split their ears are called Jogis ; 
With great deceit they betake themselves to the forest. 
They who know not the virtue of the One Name, 
Belong neither to the forest nor to the household. 
In the beginning God was the father of the whole world ; 
From Him light first proceeded. 
I have not sufficient ability to tell the tale, 
Or to mention the names of the different creatures He 

Things strong and weak were produced ; 
Things high and low were shown separately. 
The primal light which is called the one God, 
He at last infused into all His creatures. 
Know that the light of the one God 
Is in all the souls which are in this world. 
The whole world shall be blended with God, 
Who is described as Kalrup. 2 
Whatever is visible and perceptible by the senses 
Man considereth Maya. 
The one God is contained in all things, 
But He established them all separately. 
And He pervadeth them all unseen : 
He will call them all separately to account. 
They who have considered Him as One 
Have obtained the real thing. 3 
The form of the one God is unequalled : 
He is sometimes poor, sometimes a prince or a king. 
He hath given to all men their several entanglements ; 
He is separate from them, and none of them hath found 

1 As Guru Teg Bahadur did. 

2 Absorber by death. 3 Deliverance. 


He created all things separately, 
And will destroy them all separately. 
God accepteth not censure from any one ; 1 
It is He who casteth censure on others. 

We now give the Guru's remarks on the transla- 
tions and abridgements of the stories of the Hindu 

Ram Avatar 

Since I have embraced Thy feet I have paid regard to 
none besides. 2 

The Purans of Ram (the God of the Hindus) and the 
Quran of Rahim (the God of the Musalmans) express various 
opinions, but I accept none of them. 

The Simritis, the Shastars, and the Veds all expound 
many different doctrines, but I accept none of them. 

O holy God, by Thy favour it is not I who have been 
speaking ; all that hath been said hath been said by Thee. 

Forsaking all other doors I have clung to Thine. 
It is to Thine honour to protect me whose arm Thou hast 
grasped ; Gobind is Thy slave. 3 

Krishan Avatar 
I do not at the outset propitiate Ganesh ; 4 
I never meditate on Krishan or Vishnu ; 

1 For destroying him. 

2 Literally — I have not brought any one under my eye. 

3 The Guru, whh the joy of an author at the end of his toil, was 
pleased to note the date and place of the conclusion of his History of 
Ram — 

On the first day of the dark half of Har, a day of pleasure to me, 
In the Sambat year seventeen hundred and fifty-five, 
At the base of the lofty Naina Devi, on the margin of the Satluj 

Through God's help I finished the history of Ram — 
that is, the translation of the Ram Avatar into Hindi from Sanskrit. 

4 As is usual in Hindi literary works. The Guru no doubt meant 
these verses as an introduction to his Hindi translation of the Krishan 
Avatar, which forms the tenth chapter of the Bhagwat. 


I have heard of them but I know them not ; 
It is only God's feet I love. 
Great-death, be Thou my protector ; 
All-steel, I am Thy slave. 
Deeming me Thine own, preserve me ; 
Think of mine honour, whose arm Thou hast taken. 
Deeming me Thine own, cherish me, 
Single out and destroy mine enemies. 
May both my kitchen and my sword prevail in the 
world ! 1 

Preserve me and let none trample on me ; 

Be Thou ever my cherisher ! 

Thou art the Lord, I am Thy slave. 

Deeming me Thine own, be gracious unto me ; 

Perform everything for me Thyself ; 

Thou art the King of kings ; 

It is Thou alone who cherishest the poor ; 

Deeming me Thy slave, bestow Thy favour on me ; 

I have arrived and am lying weary at Thy door. 

Thou art my Lord, I am Thy slave. 

Deeming me Thy slave, reach me Thy hand and save me ; 

Destroy all mine enemies. 

They who loved not God, while performing great penance, 
who endured self-torment, excessively heated their bodies, 

Went to Banaras, and read the Veds very many times, 
obtained not the Real Thing. 

They gave alms so that Vishnu might come into their 
power, but they lost all their wealth. 

They who loved God with hearty affection found Him. 

What availeth it if a crane sit closing his eyes and dis- 
playing a religious garb to the world ? 

1 The pot to feed the poor and the stranger, regardless of caste and 
religion, and the sword to destroy the oppressors of humanity. An 
inscription on a sword in the possession of the Raja of Nabha is, 
Badhe degh teya tegh /e, that is, man becomes great either by entertain- 
ing his friends or destroying his enemies. 


If man ever go about bathing in water like a fish, how 
shall he obtain possession of God ? 

If man croak day and night like a frog and fly like a bird, 
how shall he obtain possession of God ? 

Siam 1 and all these saints say, hath any one without love 
pleased God ? 

Of those who through greed of wealth continued to loudly 
sing and recite God's praises, 

And who danced but gave not their hearts thereto, hath 
any found the way to God's wonderful world ? 

They excited laughter in the world, and knew not the 
essence of wisdom even in their dreams. 

The poet Siam asketh if God hath been obtained by any 
one without love. 

Several meditated in the forest, and returned home weary. 

Sidhs in meditation and Munis in deep research have 
sought for God, but found Him not. 

Siam saith, all the Veds and the Muhammadan books 
and the wisdom of the saints have thus decided. 

Hearken, O saints, the poet speaketh, they who search 
with love obtain God. 

I am the son of a brave man, not of a Brahman ; how 
can I perform austerities ? 

How can I turn my attention to Thee, O Lord, and for- 
sake domestic affairs ? 

Now be pleased to grant me the boon I crave with clasped 

That when the end of my life cometh, I may die fighting 
in a mighty battle. 

Blest is his life in this world who repeateth God's name 
with his mouth and meditateth war in his heart. 

1 Some suppose that Siam is the Guru's takhallas or nom de plume. 
Others maintain that it was the real name of one of the fifty-two bards 
the Guru entertained. 


The body is fleeting and shall not abide for ever ; man 
embarking in the ship of fame shall cross the ocean of the 

Make this body a house of resignation ; light thine under- 
standing as a lamp ; 

Take the broom of divine knowledge into thy hand, and 
sweep away the filth of timidity. 

Paras nath Avatar 

O thoughtless fool, why knowest thou not thy Maker ? 

O man, why knowest thou not God ? 

O heedless beast bound with worldly love, they on whom 
thou reposest confidence — 

Ram, Krishan, and the Prophet — whose names thou con- 
tinually utterest on rising — 

Where live they now in the world, 1 and why singest 
thou their praises ? 

Why recognizest thou not Him who is now and ever 
shall be ? 

Why idly worship stones ; will they yield thee any 
return ? 

Worship Him by whose worship thy work shall be accom- 

And by taking whose name all thy desires shall be fulfilled. 

0 Jogi, Jog consisteth not in matted hair. 

Why wear thyself out and kill thyself wandering ? Con- 
sider this in thy mind. 

The man who knoweth the supreme divine knowledge 
shall obtain the great reward ; 

He shall then restrain his mind in one place, and not 
run wandering from door to door. 

What availeth it to leave one's home, run away, and 
dwell in a forest, 

When one's heart ever remaineth at home ? Such a per- 
son is not an Udasi. 

1 That is, they were mortal like others, and what is the use of 
worshipping them ? 


Boasting of thy religious fervour, thou deceivest the 
world by the exercise of great deception. 

Thou thinkest in thy heart that thou hast abandoned 
worldly love, but worldly love hath not abandoned thee. 

O man with the garb, religion consisteth not in wearing 
a garb. 

It consisteth not in wearing matted hair and long nails, 
or in smearing ashes on the body, or dyeing thy raiment. 

If man obtain Jog by dwelling in the forest, the bird ever 
dwelleth there. 

The elephant ever throweth dust on his head ; consider 
this in thy heart. 

Frogs and fishes ever bathe at places of pilgrimage. 

The cat, the wolf, and the crane meditate ; what know 
they of religion ? 

As thou endurest pain to deceive men, do so also for 
God's sake, 

Thus shalt thou know great divine knowledge and quaff 
the supreme nectar. 

The following thirty-three sawaiyas are also read 
in Abchalangar and other places while the Sikh 
baptismal water is being prepared. Several orthodox 
Sikhs say that these are the sawaiyas which ought 
always to be read at the baptism, and of this indeed 
there is internal evidence. 


He who repeateth night and day the name of Him whose 
enduring light is unquenchable, who bestoweth not a thought 
on any but the one God ; 

Who hath full love and confidence in God, who putteth 
not faith even by mistake in fasting, or worshipping ceme- 
teries, places of cremation, or Jogis' places of sepulture ; 

Who only recognizeth the one God and not pilgrimages, 
alms, the non-destruction of life, 1 Hindu penances, or 
austerities ; 

1 As practised by the Jains. 


And in whose heart the light of the Perfect One shineth, 
he is recognized as a pure member of the Khalsa. 


God is true, Eternal, true to His promise ; He is from 
the beginning, without beginning, unfathomable, and in- 

Bounty, mercy, self-control, austerities, daily ceremonies, 
continence, fasting, clemency, religious observances are all 
contained in the name of the Immutable One. 

He is from the beginning, pure, without a beginning, 
infinite, 1 endless, without enmity, without fear. 

He hath form, and is without form or outline ; He 
groweth not old, He is compassionate and merciful to the 


God is from the beginning, without enmity, without garb, 
great, true, refulgent, and resplendent. 

He filleth the inmost hearts of all ; meditation on Him, 
the Real Thing, curbeth natural inclinations. 

Thou wert in the beginning, before the ages, before the 
world ; O God, Thou art all-pervading and dwellest in every 

Compassionate to the poor, merciful mine of mercy, from 
the beginning, unborn, invincible, indestructible. 


In the beginning, indestructible, imperishable, ever- 
lasting : — O God, the Veds and the books of the Musalmans 
have found not Thy secret. 

Compassionate to the poor, merciful, Ocean of mercy, 
true, everlasting, diffused in every heart, 

Sheshnag, Indar, Ganesh, and Shiv have searched the 
Veds, but found not Thy depth. 

0 foolish man, say why hast thou forgotten God who is 
ever manifest ? 

1 Anahad. If anahat be read it must be translated invulnerable or 



God is immovable, from the beginning, stainless, in- 
finite, true, and everlasting. 

He is adored as primaeval, unconceived, unborn, free 
from old age, supremely pure, illimitable. 

He is well known 1 as the self-existent, renowned in the 
whole world, One, yet in different places. 

O base man, why recognize not God who is without stain ? 


O Creator, thou art imperishable, from the beginning, 
without blemish, without limits, true, and eternal. 

Thou ever providest sustenance for all animals which are 
in sea and land. 

The Veds, the Purans, the Quran, describe Thee in various 

In the rest of the world there is at last naught but 
Thee ; O divine One, Thou art Sovereign Ruler over all. 


Thou art known as from the beginning, unfathomable, 
imperishable, indivisible, invisible, invincible, and illimitable. 

Thou art in the past, the future, the present ; Thou art 
adored in every place. 

Demigods, demons, Sheshnag, Narad, and Saraswati 
recognize Thee as true and eternal. 

The Purans and the Quran know not the secrets of the 
Compassionate to the poor, the Ocean of mercy. 


O true and eternal One, perpetual is Thy dominion ; it 
is Thou who madest the Veds and the Quran. 

Thou didst appoint demigods, demons, Sheshnag the past 
and the present. 

From the beginning, before the ages, the stainless, the 
indestructible, Thy light is seen, though Thou art unseen. 

1 Stdk. Some translate this word miracles. 


O foolish man, who hath come to tell thee of the in- 
visible God ? 1 


Demigods, demons, Sheshnag, serpents, famous Sidhs 
have done great penance ; 

The Veds, the Purans, the Quran, all have grown weary 
singing Thy praises, O God, but Thou art not known unto 

Thou knowest all hearts on earth, in heaven, in the 
nether regions, and in every direction. 

Thy praises fill the earth ; they entering my heart told 
me this. 


The Veds and the books of the Musalmans have not 
found God's secret ; all the Sidhs have grown weary con- 
templating Him. 

The Simritis, Shastars, Veds, and Purans all describe 
Him in various ways ; 

But God who was in the beginning, and who had no 
beginning, whose story is unfathomable, cannot be known. 
He saved such as Dhru, Prahlad, and Ajamal. 

The courtesan was saved by repeating God's name ; that 
name is my support, the object of my thoughts. 


All recognize that God was in the beginning, that He had 
no beginning, that He is unfathomable, eternal, and perfect. 

The Gandharbs, 2 the Yakshas, Sheshnag, the earth- 
dwelling serpents, the firmament, and the four quarters of 
the world know God. 

The visible and invisible worlds, the eight directions, the 
demons as well as the demigods all worship God. 

O man of ignorant mind, through regard for whom hast 
thou forgotten the Omniscient, the Self -existent, the 
Treasure ? 

1 The answer to this is found in the last line of the following 
sawaiya. 2 Heavenly musicians. 



Some fasten an idol firmly to their breasts ; some say 
that Shiv is God ; 

Some say that God is in the temple of the Hindus ; others 
believe that He is in the mosque of the Musalmans ; 

Some say that Ram is God ; some say Krishan ; some 
in their hearts accept the incarnations as God ; 

But I have forgotten all vain religion and know in my 
heart that the Creator is the only God. 


Ye say that God is unconceived and unborn ; how could 
He have been born from the womb of Kausalya ? 

If He whom we call Krishan were God, why was he sub- 
ject to death ? 1 

Why should God whom ye describe as holy and without 
enmity have driven Arjan's chariot ? 2 

Worship as God Him whose secret none hath known or 
shall know. 


Say if Krishan were the Ocean of mercy, why should the 
hunter's arrow have struck him ? 3 

If he can save other families, why did he destroy his own ? 

Say why did he who called himself the eternal and the 
unconceived, enter into the womb of Devaki ? 

Why did he who had no father or mother call Vasudev 4 
his father ? 


Why call Shiv God, and why speak of Brahma as God ? 

1 In this line in the original the first Kal means God, and the 
second death. 

2 Krishan, who was Arjan's charioteer, proclaimed himself to 
be God. 

3 It is supposed that the hunter was an incarnation of Bali whom 
Ram Cliandar had slain. Krishan was supposed to be an incarnation 
of Ram Chandar. 

4 Father of Krishan. 


God is not Ram Chandar, Krishan, or Vishnu whom ye 
suppose to be lords of the world. 

Shukdev, Parasar, and Vyas erred in abandoning the one 
God and worshipping many gods. 1 

All have set up false religions ; I in every way believe 
that there is but one God. 


Some worship Brahma as God, others point to Shiv as God ; 

Some say that Vishnu is the Lord of the world, and 
that by worshipping him all sins are erased. 

Think on this a thousand times, O fool, at the last hour 
all thy gods will forsake thee. 

Meditate on Him in thy heart who was, is, and ever 
shall be. 


He who made millions of Indars, He who made and 
destroyed some millions of Bawans, 

Demons, demigods, serpents, Sheshnags. birds and beasts 

To whom till to-day Shiv and Brahma are doing penance 
without finding His limit, 

He whose secrets the Veds and the Quran have not 
penetrated, is the great Being whom the Guru 2 hath shown 


O man, by attitudes of contemplation, matted hair, 
and the overgrown nails of thy hands thou deceivest all 

Thou goest about with ashes smeared on thy face and 
cheatest all the demigods and the demons. 

Addicted to avarice thou wanderest from house to house ; 
the means by which Jog is obtained thou hast all forgotten. 

Thou hast lost all shame and succeeded in nothing ; with- 
out love God cannot be obtained. 

1 Also translated — The abandonment of one God and the worship 
of several gods have been shown by Shukdev, Parasar, and Vyas to 
be vain. 8 Guru Teg Bahadur. 



O foolish man, why play the hypocrite ? thou losest 
thine honour by practising hypocrisy. 

O cheat, why cheat people ? this world is lost to thee 
and so is the next. 

Where the Compassionate to the poor dwelleth, there 
shalt thou find no place. 

Think, O think, thou thoughtless and great fool, the 
Unseen is not found by assuming garbs. 


Why worship a stone ? God is not in a stone. 

Worship Him as God, by the worship of whom all thy 
sins shall be erased, 

And by uttering whose name thou shalt be freed from all 
thy mental and bodily entanglements. 

Make the meditation of God ever thy rule of action ; no 
advantage can be obtained by the practice of false religion. 


False religion is without fruit ; by the worship of stones 
thou hast wasted millions of ages. 

How can perfection be obtained by touching stones ? 
nay, strength and prosperity thus decrease, and the nine 
treasures are not obtained. 

Time passeth away while saying to-day, to-day : thou 
shalt not accomplish thine object ; art thou not ashamed ? 

O fool, thou hast not worshipped God, so thy life hath 
been passed in vain. 


If for ages thou do penance to a stone, it will never 
rejoice thee. 

O fool, it will never generously lift its arm to requite thee. 

Say what confidence can be placed in it ? when trouble 
ariseth, it will not come to save thee. 

O ignorant and obstinate man, be assured that thy false 
religion and superstition will ruin thee. 



All are bound in the meshes of Death ; no Ram or Moslem 
prophet was able to save himself. 

God having created destroyed, and will again create and 
destroy demons, demigods, and Sheshnags. 

They who were called incarnations in the world at last died 
before men's eyes 1 in remorse. 

O fickle man, why not run to touch the feet of God above. 


Brahma appeared by God's order and taking his staff and 
waterpot wandered upon earth. 

We know that Shiv was born at the appointed time, and 
visited all countries. 

The world was created and destroyed at the appointed 
time ; wherefore let all recognize God. 

Renouncing all the subtleties of the Veds and the Quran. 
I worship God alone, the Treasury of mercy. 


O blockhead, thy life hath passed in thy present occupa- 
tions; thou hast not thought in thy heart of the merciful God. 

Abandoning shame thou hast grown shameless, and 
leaving thy proper work hast done useless work for thyself. 

When thou hadst horses and great royal elephants, thou 
foolishly thoughtest to ride on donkeys. 2 

Thou didst not worship God, O fool, and so didst shame- 
fully spoil thy good business. 


Thou hast for long read the Veds and the books of the 
Musalmans, but not found a secret in them. 3 

Thou hast wandered in various places to worship, but 
the one God thou hast never seated in thy heart. 

Thou hast bowed thy head to stones and cemeteries, but 
obtained naught. 

1 Literally — on earth. 

2 Leaving God thou hast turned to idolatry. 

3 That is, they have no secret. 



O foolish man, forsaking the manifest God, why art thou 
entangled in thine obstinacy? 


If any one go to a monastery of Jogis, they will ask him 
to repeat the name of Gorakh ; 

If any one go to a monastery of Sanyasis, they will say 
that only Dattatre is true, and they will give him his 
name as the spell of initiation ; 

If any one go to the Musalmans, they will seize and 
convert him to the faith of Muhammad — 

Every sect deemeth that the Creator is with itself alone ; 
but no one can disclose the Creator's secrets. 


If any one go to the Jogis they will tell him to give every 
thing — house and property — to them ; 

If any one haste to the Sanyasis, they will tell him to part 
with his house in the name of Dattatre ; 

If any one go to the masands, they will tell him to bring 
all his property at once and give it to them. 

Every one saith, 'Bring me, bring me,' but nobody will 
show me God. 


If any one serve the masands, they will say, ' Fetch and 
give us all thine offerings. 

' Go at once and make a present to us of whatever pro- 
perty is in thy house. 

'Think on us night and day, and mention not others 
even by mistake.' 

If they hear of any one giving, they run to him even at 
night, 1 they are not at all pleased at not receiving. 


They put oil into their eyes to make people believe that 
they are shedding tears. 

1 Also translated — The night long they pretend to worship. 


If they see any of their own worshippers wealthy, they 
serve up sacred food and feed him with it. 

If they see him without wealth, they give him nothing, 
though he beg for it ; they will not even show him their faces. 

Those beasts plunder men, and never sing the praises of 
the Supreme Being. 


They close their eyes like cranes and offer the world a 
spectacle of deceit. 

They go about with their heads bowed down like poachers ; 
cats on seeing such attitudes would be ashamed. 

The more they go about clinging to the hope of wealth, the 
more they lose this world and the next. 

Thou hast not repeated God's name, O fool ; why art 
thou entangled in thy domestic affairs ? 


Why impress false religion on the world ? It will be of 
no service to it. 

Why run about for the sake of wealth ? thou shalt not 
be able to fly from Death's myrmidons. 

Son, wife, friends, disciple, companions — none of these 
will bear witness for thee. 

Think, O think, thou thoughtless and great brute, thou 
shalt at the last moment have to depart alone. 


Hear, 0 fool, when life leaveth thy body, thy wife crying 
out ' Ghost, ghost ', will flee thee. 

Thy son, thy wife, thy friends, and companions will give 
orders to remove thee quickly. 

When life leaveth thy body all thy mansions, storehouses, 
lands, and forts 1 will become the property of others. 

Think, O think, thou thoughtless and great brute, thou 
shalt at the last moment have to depart alone. 

Also translated — hoarded and buried savings. 
Y 2 


Hazare Shabd 

O man, practise asceticism in this way : — 

Consider thy house altogether as the forest, and remain 
an anchoret at heart. 

Make continence thy matted hair, union with God thine 
ablutions, thy daily religious duties the growth of thy nails, 

Divine knowledge thy spiritual guide ; admonish thy 
heart and apply God's name as ashes to thy body. 

Eat little, sleep little, love mercy and forbearance. 

Ever practise mildness and patience, and thou shalt be 
freed from the three qualities. 

Attach not to thy heart lust, wrath, covetousness, obsti- 
nacy, and worldly love. 

Thus shalt thou behold the Real Soul of this world, and 
obtain the Supreme Being. 

O man, practise Jog in this way : — 

Make truth thy horn, sincerity thy necklace, and apply 
meditation as ashes to thy body ; 

Make restraint of thy heart thy lyre, and the support of 
the Name thine alms ; 

Play the primal essence as thy strings, and thou shalt 
hear God's sweet song. 

By the practice of the songs of divine knowledge, waves 
of melody and exquisite pleasure shall be produced. 

The demons and the demigods in their celestial chariots 
will be astonished and the munis intoxicated with delight. 

Admonish thy heart, don the garb of self-restraint, and 
utter God's name inaudibly, 

So shall thy body ever remain like gold, and Death 
never approach thee. 

O mortal, touch the feet of the Supreme Being. 

Why sleepest thou the sleep of worldly love ? be some- 
times wakeful and alert. 

Why instruct others, O beast, since thou hast no know- 
ledge thyself ? 


Why ever accumulate sin ? even now lay aside the love 
of it. 

Deem such things simply as errors and love truly religious 

Ever lay up the remembrance of God ; renounce and flee 
from mortal sin. 

By this means shalt thou not encounter sorrow or sin, 
and escape from Death's noose. 

If thou desire ever to have happiness of every kind, be 
absorbed in God's love. 

0 God, my honour resteth with Thee. 

It is Thou who art the blue-throated, man-lion, moving 
in the water, blue-robed, wearing a necklace of flowers. 1 

It is Thou who art the primal Being, supreme God, Lord, 
pure, living on air ; 

It is Thou who art the Lord of Lakshmi, great Light, 
Destroyer of the pride of Madhu, Bestower of salvation, 
Destroyer of Mur. 2 

It is Thou who art changeless, undecaying, sleepless, 
without evil passions, Preserver from hell, 

Ocean of mercy, Seer of the past, present, and future, 
Effacer of evil acts. 

It is Thou who hast the bow in the hand, who art patient, 
Supporter of the earth, changeless, Wielder of the sword. 

1 of feeble intellect have taken the protection of Thy 
feet ; take my hand and save me. 

0 man, worship none but God, not a thing made by Him. 
Know that He who was in the beginning, unborn, in- 
vincible, and indestructible is God. 

What if Vishnu coming into this world killed some of 
the demons, 

And exercising great deceit induced every one to call 
him God ? 

How can he who himself did not escape from the stroke 
of the sword of death, 

1 The gyanis translate banivari — dweller in the forest. 

2 The names in this and the preceding lines of this hymn are epithets 
of Shiv, Vishnu, Balbhadar (brother of Krishan), and Krishan. 


Be deemed God the Destroyer, the Fashioner, the Omni- 
potent, the Eternal ? 

Hear, O fool, how can he who was drowned in the ocean 
of the world save thee ? 

Thou shalt only escape from Death's noose when thou 
seizest the feet of Him who existed before the world. 1 

When the Guru left Damdama, his disciples sent 
a messenger after him to tell him of their sad plight. 
The following is the complaint as versified by the 
Guru. Others say that the hymn was addressed to 
God by the Guru himself : — 

Tell the dear Friend the condition of His disciples— 

Without Thee the wearing of our blankets is a disease to 
us, and dwelling in our houses is as if we dwelt with serpents. 

Our water-pots are stakes of torture, our cups are daggers ; 
Thy turning away from us is like what animals endure 
from butchers. 

Our Beloved's pallet would be pleasant to us ; living in 
towns is like living in a furnace. 

God alone is the Creator, 

The beginning and the end of all things, endless, the 
Fashioner, and the Destroyer, 

To whom blame and praise are the same, who hath no 
enemy, no friend. 

What necessity had He to become the driver of Arjan's 
chariot ? 

The Bestower of salvation hath no father, mother, caste, 
son, or grandson. 

Why should He have come into the world to be called 
the son of Devaki ? 

When He who created demigods, demons, the eight 
directions, and all extension, 

Is called by the name of Murar, what glory is it to Him ? 

1 That the Guru was a decided monotheist is proved by all his 


How can God be in human form ? 

Sidhs have grown weary sitting in contemplation of Him, 
but they have not been able to see Him in any way. 

Such persons as Narad, Vyas, Parasar, and Dhru have 
deeply meditated on Him. 

The Veds and the Purans have grown weary and aban- 
doned their purpose, since they could form no conception 
of Him. 

Demons, demigods, fiends, sprites, describe Him as in- 

The faithful consider Him as the subtilest of the subtile, 
and again pointed Him out as the largest of the large. 1 

The one God having made the earth, the heaven, and 
all the nether regions they call many. 

He who entereth God's asylum shall be saved from 
Death's noose. 

I recognize none but the one God : 

I know God as the Destroyer, the Fashioner, the Omni- 
potent and Eternal Creator. 

What availeth it to men to worship stones in various 
ways with great love and devotion ? 

The hand groweth weary by touching stones, and no 
spiritual power is obtained. 

Rice, incense, lamps are offered to stones, but they eat 

What spiritual power is in them, O fool ? what blessing 
can they bestow on thee ? 

If they had life, they might give thee something ; be 
assured of this in thought, word, and deed — 

Except in the protection of the one sole God nowhere 
is salvation. 

Without God's name thou canst not be saved. 

How shalt thou flee from Him who holdeth the fourteen 
worlds in His power ? 

Ram and Rahim whose names thou repeatest cannot 
save thee. 

1 Since He exists in everything. 


Brahma, Vishnu, Shiv, the sun and moon are all in the 
power of Death. 

The Veds, the Purans, the Quran, all sects, Indar, Shesh- 
nag, the kings of the Munis, 

Meditated for many ages on Him who is called the In- 
describable, but could form no conception of Him. 

Why should He whose form and colour are not known 
be called black ? 1 

When thou shalt seize and cling to God's feet, thou shalt 
be freed from the noose of Death. 


0 God, give me Thy hand and protect me, 
And all my desires shall be fulfilled. 
May my heart be ever attached to Thy feet ! 
Deem me Thine own and cherish me ; 
Destroy all mine enemies ; 

O Creator, may my family and all my servants and 
disciples live in peace ! 

Destroy all mine enemies to-day, 

And all my hopes shall be fulfilled. 

May the thirst for repeating Thy name abide with me ; 

And may I not, forsaking Thee, meditate on any one 
besides ! 

May I obtain from Thee whatever boon I crave ! 
Save my servants and my disciples ; 
Single out mine enemies and smite them. 
Remove from me the fear of the hour of death. 
Be Thou always on my side ; 

0 Thou with the sword on Thy banner, protect me ; 
Preserve me, O Thou Preserver, 

Beloved Lord, Protector of the saints, 
Friend of the poor, Destroyer of tyrants — 
Thou art Lord of the fourteen worlds. 
At the proper time Brahma obtained a body, 
At the proper time Shiv became incarnate, 

1 The reference here is to the Hindu gods Vishnu and Kiishan. 


At the proper time 1 Vishnu appeared — 
That was all the play of God. 
My obeisance to that God 
Who made Shiv a Jogi, 
Who made Brahma the king of the Veds, 
And who fashioned all the world. 
Know that He is my Guru 
Who made the whole world, 
Who created demigods, demons, and Yakshas, 
Who is the only God incarnate from beginning to end, 
My obeisance to Him alone 
Who Himself adorneth all His subjects, 
Who bestoweth divine attributes and happiness on His 

Who destroyeth their enemies in a moment, 

Who knoweth what is within every heart, 

And the sufferings of the good and bad. 

He is pleased as He casteth a look of favour on all 

From the ant to the huge elephant. 

He is grieved when His saints are grieved, 

And happy when His saints are happy. 

He knoweth every one's sufferings 

And every secret of man's heart. 

When the Creator projected Himself, 

His creatures assumed endless shapes ; 

Whenever Thou drawest creation within Thyself, 0 Lord, 

All embodied beings are absorbed in Thee. 2 

All creatures endowed with speech 3 

Speak of Thee according to their understanding. 

Thou dwellest apart from everything ; 

1 The expression kal pai in this and the two preceding lines is also 
translated — having first died. 

2 ' The universe comes from God, lives in Him, and returns to 
Him ' is an expression commonly used in the Vpanishads and 
Mahabharat. In ihe Bhagavat Gila creation is represented as 
evolving from God as the world at the approach of day slowly 
emerges from the darkness of night, and again dissolving or vanishing 
in Him as the world disappears after evening twilight. 

3 Badan, the mouth, literally — all things in creation which have 
a moulh. 


The wise and the learned know the secret of this. 1 
0 Formless One, Thou art changeless and independent ; 
Thou art the Primal One, stainless, without beginning, 
self -existent. 

The fool boasteth that he knoweth the secrets of Him 
Whose secrets are not known even to the Veds. 
The great fool supposeth that God is a stone, 
And knoweth not the difference between them ; 
He ever calleth the Eternal God Shiv, 
And knoweth not the secrets of the Formless One. 
Men according to their different understandings 
Give different descriptions of Thee, 0 God. 
Thine extension cannot be conceived, 
Nor how Thou didst first fashion creation. 
Thou hast but one form, and that form is incomparable. 
Thou art in different places a poor man, a lord, or a king ; 
Thou madest life from eggs, wombs, and perspiration, 
And again Thou madest a mine of vegetables. 
Sometimes Thou sittest as monarch on the lotus flower, 2 
Sometimes as Shiv Thou gatherest up creation. 
Thou didst display the whole creation as a miracle ; 
Thou art the Primal One from the beginning of time ; 
Thy form was uncreated. 
0 God, protect me now ; 
Save those who are my disciples, 
And destroy those who are not. 
The enemies who rise in rebellion, 
And all infidels destroy Thou them in the battle-field. 
The enemies of those who sought Thy protection, 

0 God, have died in misery. 

Thou hast removed all the troubles of those 

Who fall at Thy feet. 

Death shall never approach those 

Who even once meditate on Thee, O God ; 

1 Also translated — Thou knowest the secret of divine knowledge and 
of the world. Others suppose that bed and alim are epithets of Hindus 
and Musalmans respectively. 

2 That is, as Brahma, through whose agency, according to the 
Hindus, the world was created. 


They shall be protected at all times, 
And their enemies and their troubles shall instantly vanish. 
Thou removest in an instant the sufferings of those 
Whom Thou beholdest with a look of favour. 
They possess in their homes all temporal and spiritual 
blessings, 1 

And no enemies can touch even their shadows. 
Him who even once remembereth Thee 
Thou savest from the noose of Death. 
He who repeateth Thy name 

Shall be free from poverty and the assaults of enemies. 
O, Thou with the sword on Thy banner, I seek Thy 
protection ; 

Give me Thine own hand and save me ; 

Be Thou everywhere my helper, 

And save me from the designs of mine enemies. 

After the completion of the morning and evening 
obligatory divine services and of the uninterrupted 
reading or chanting of the Granth Sahib the Sikhs 
repeat a prayer or supplication called — 


which may now suitably end our presentation of the 
Lives and Writings of the ten Gurus : — 

Sri Wahguru ji ki Fatah ! 
Having first remembered the Sword meditate on Guru 
Nanak ; 

Then on Guru Angad, Amar Das, and Ram Das ; may 
they assist us ! 

Remember Arjan, Har Gobind, and the holy Hari Rai ; 

Meditate on the holy Hari Krishan, a sight of whom 
dispelled all sorrow. 

Remember Teg Bahadur, and the nine treasures shall 
come hastening to your homes. 

Ye holy Gurus, everywhere assist us. 

May the tenth king, the holy Guru Gobind Singh, every- 
where assist us. 

Ridh sidh, literally — wealth and supernatural power. 


God Himself knoweth, He Himself acteth ; it is He who 

Standing in His presence, Nanak, make supplication. 

Sikhs of the true Immortal God, turn your thoughts 
to the teachings of the Granth Sahib and the deeds of the 
Khalsa ; utter Wahguru ! 

Meditating on the Deathless One, endowed with all power, 
compassionate, and just, utter Wahguru ! 

Meditating on the deeds of those who worshipped the 
Name, plied the sword, ate and distributed their food in 
companionship, and overlooked others' faults, O Khalsa, 
utter Wahguru ! 

O Deathless Creator, illimitable, this creature forgetting 
Thy name is so attached to worldly goods, that he hath 
forgotten the Real Thing. Without Thy supreme mercy 
how shall we cross the ocean of the world ? O great King, 
lust, wrath, greed, worldly love, jealousy, and other evil 
passions greatly trouble our minds, but on coming towards 
Thee worldly maladies and afflictions are healed and dis- 
pelled. Show us such favour that we may by word and 
deed be Thine, and that in all things we may obtain Thine 
assistance and support. 

Grant to Thy Sikhs the gift of Sikhism, the gift of the 
Guru's instruction, the gift of faith, the gift of confidence 
in Thee, and the gift of reading and understanding the holy 
Granth Sahib. 

May the Sikh choirs, mansions, and banners ever abide ! 
Victory to the faith ! May the minds of the Sikhs be humble 
but their intellects exalted ! Utter Wahguru ! Wahguru ! ! 
Wahguru ! ! ! 

We offer this Ardas in Thy presence and at Thy lotus 
feet. Pardon our errors and mistakes. May all Sikhs who 
read and hear the Gurus' hymns be profited ! 

Through Nanak, may Thy name, O God, be exalted, 

And all prosper by Thy grace ! 

Sri Wahguru ji ka Khalsa ! Sri Wahguru ji ki Fatah ! 




1 As stated in the Life of Guru Nanak, these Rags are sung 
differently in different provinces of India. Of eight of them we have 
given alternative versions extracted from Raja Sir Surindra Mohan 
Tagore's collection of Indian airs made for the Coronation of the 
King-Emperor. The Raja's music is in a high pitch adapted for 
musical instruments ; the Gurus' Rags are in a low pitch adapted for 
the voice. 



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